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A Salt Lake County businessman has received a stiffer sentence than his partner in a mortgage fraud scheme.

U.S. District Judge Dee Benson on Monday ordered Corey Nance to serve five years in prison and to pay nearly $2 million in restitution to the mortgage and title insurance companies swindled in the scam. His co-defendant, Rob Ellertson, is serving a 33-month sentence and must pay $1.4 million in restitution.

Nance pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud in 2004 and could have faced 30 years imprisonment.

Prosecutors say that from May 2002 to September 2003, the men used fraudulent information to prepare loan applications for property that often did not even contain a house. The documents were accompanied by photographs and appraisals allegedly faked by Nance or an appraiser acting in concert with him.

"Mr. Nance exploited a booming Utah real estate market through the use of straw buyers, false appraisals and fraudulent bank documents," said U.S. Attorney for Utah Brett Tolman. "The court's sentence vindicates the numerous lenders who fell prey to this scam and underscores our office's firm commitment to holding those who engage in mortgage fraud accountable." Some of the companies bilked were GreenPoint Mortgage Funding Inc. and Wachovia Mortgage Corp., both of Denver. - Carey Hamilton