The second of two Tucson men indicted in 2008 as part of a nationwide mortgage fraud sting has pleaded guilty to tax evasion.
Chris Nero, 44, pleaded guilty Monday to three counts of attempted evasion of assessment and payment of federal income taxes. He was originaly indicted on 48 charges in June 2008, according to U.S. District Court records.
Nero and Roy Fife, 48, were accused of enlisting “straw buyers” to take out at least 27 fake loans in their names in order to purchase at least 17 homes they would neither live in nor pay the mortgage on.
The loans were for more than the asking price on the home, with Fife, Nero and the straw buyer sharing in the excess proceeds, court records show.
Fife and Nero were two of 36 people in Arizona and more than 400 nationwide that federal authorities targeted in 2008 as part of a U.S. Justice Department investigation dubbed Operation Cash Back.
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Nero will be sentenced June 4 by U.S. District Judge Cindy Jorgenson.
Fife, who pleaded guilty in December to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, is scheduled to be sentenced April 5.