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Sentencing in $5-million mortgage fraud scheme

A court gavel
A court gavel

UNDATED (WSAU)  A couple will spend time in prison for orchestrating a $5-million mortgage fraud scheme in both Wisconsin and Minnesota. Federal Judge David Doty of Minneapolis sentenced 52-year-old James Hoffman yesterday to six-and-a-half years behind bars. And he must pay $344,000 in restitution to his victims. Hoffman’s 53-year-old wife Teresa was sentenced to a year-and-a-day in prison. The couple is from Stillwater Minnesota. They pleaded guilty in February.

Prosecutors said James Hoffman conspired to defraud mortgage lenders from 2001-through-’09, and his wife joined the scheme five years after it began.

Officials said the Hoffmans employed fake buyers to purchase real estate in both Wisconsin and Minnesota – and the couple kept much of the proceeds from those loans.