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Mortgage scheme nets Crofton man a prison sentence

A Crofton man was sentenced Wednesday to more than four years in prison for redirecting about $5 million in mortgage payoffs on 17 Maryland properties to himself and a co-defendant, according to federal prosecutors.

Todd R. Bettin, 42, was assistant manager of At Home Mortgage when he conspired with the owner of a Gambrills settlement company to illegally benefit from money intended to pay off clients' mortgages, the Maryland U.S. attorney's office said.

Starting in 2007, Bettin and co-defendant Gary Pierce — now sentenced to six years in prison — diverted or held onto payoff funds from mortgage closings for days, weeks or years, according to the Maryland U.S. attorney's office.

They falsified documents, including wire confirmation reports, to make it appear the money had been forwarded to lenders, prosecutors said. Then they posed as the borrowers to get the lenders to redirect the bills to them, and Bettin made monthly payments on the loans to avoid detection, prosecutors said.

Bettin also refinanced his own home and kept the payoff amount, and he helped Pierce take out a loan on an Edgewater property the man didn't own, according to the Maryland U.S. attorney's office.

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