A Severna Park woman was sentenced Tuesday to just over three years in prison after pleading guilty to a mortgage scam involving $4.7 million in fraudulent loans, the Maryland U.S. attorney's office said.

Mary Anne Dean, 60, brokered loans in a scheme pitched to homeowners trying to avoid foreclosure, according to her plea agreement. The homeowners were told they could sell to investors, stay on as renters, and then buy back their homes after getting their finances in order.

Dean, who ran a mortgage brokerage firm called Sunset Mortgage Co. from her home, submitted falsified mortgage applications to secure the loans for the "investors" — relatives and acquaintances of a co-defendant, Charles Donaldson of Bowie. Donaldson said he would set aside most of the homeowners' equity to help with the rent and mortgage payments, but instead he spent it on himself, according to the plea agreements.

Donaldson was sentenced in March to three years and five months in prison.

As a result of the scheme, homeowners lost at least $1.2 million in equity, lenders lost more than $940,000 and 13 homes have been foreclosed on, the Maryland U.S. attorney's office said.

jhopkins@baltsun.com

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