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Utah woman pleads guilty in real estate fraud
A Utah County woman has changed her plea to guilty in a real estate fraud case in which she was accused of using straw buyers and inflated appraisals to obtain loans to purchase houses that were sometimes a $1 million in excess of the actual selling price.
Portia Louder, 43, Highland, pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of wire fraud and one of conspiracy in the real estate fraud case filed against her in October of 2011. As a result, Louder could receive a prison sentence of up to seven years.
Louder admitted that she and others engaged in a scheme in which they obtained loans using straw buyers and false income and other information to buy houses far in excess of the seller's asking price, then skimmed off the difference.
In the specific case to which she pleaded guilty, Louder in late 2007 negotiated a sales price for an Alpine home of around $725,000 then obtained a loan for $1 million, making $230,179 out of the deal.
An indictment lists six other properties in which similar transactions occurred, including one in which the loan was for $1.6 million more than the actual sales price.
Also indicted in the case were Louder's husband, Chad, and her brother, Dustin Wilcox.
Wilcox pleaded guilty to conspiracy and sentencing is set for Nov. 18.
Charges against Chad Louder remain pending.
No sentencing date has been set for Portia Louder.
Her attorney did not return an email seeking comment.
She had been jailed several times while the charges were pending after she was accused of violating conditions of her release from custody.
In July, Portia Louder was charged in Utah County with two counts of falsely obtaining prescription drugs. Louder allegedly obtained a prescription for an unnamed controlled substance from one doctor without notifying another one from whom she had already received a prescription.
She is scheduled to make an initial appearance in that case later this month.
Louder was cited in 2006 by the Utah Division of Real Estate for conducting transactions without a license and her case was referred to a federal/state real estate fraud task force that investigated her.