3 years for real estate mogul, wife in fraud

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A real estate mogul and his wife have been sentenced in San Diego federal court to three years and five months in prison each for their roles in a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud scheme.

U-T San Diego reports Eric and Charmagne Elegado apologized in court on Thursday.

Eric Elegado asked if he could do the time for his wife so she could stay at home with their 7-year-old son. The judge said no.

The Elegados, both 49, pleaded guilty in October to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Prosecutors say the couple directed an operation that falsified loan applications and offered underqualified buyers subprime loans. They also obtained mortgages higher than the sale price of the homes, profiting off the excess and living a lavish lifestyle.

Eric Elegado's face appeared on billboards advertising his San Diego real estate empire.

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Information from: U-T San Diego, http://www.utsandiego.com