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Lee Farkas Convicted In $3 Billion Mortgage Fraud Case

By MATTHEW BARAKAT   04/19/11 05:31 PM ET   AP

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- A jury has convicted the majority owner of what had been one of the nation's largest mortgage companies on all 14 counts in a $3 billion fraud trial that officials have said is one of the most significant prosecutions to arise from the nation's financial crisis.

The jury returned its verdict late Tuesday after more than a full day of deliberations.

Prosecutors said Lee Farkas led a fraud scheme of staggering proportions as chairman of Florida-based Taylor Bean & Whitaker. The fraud not only caused the company's 2009 collapse and the loss of jobs for its 2,000 workers, but also contributed to the collapse of Alabama-based Colonial Bank, the sixth-largest bank failure in U.S. history.

Farkas testified in his own defense at the trial and claimed he did nothing wrong.

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