Calif. man pleads guilty in $11M Vermont scam

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A California man has pleaded guilty to conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering in an $11 million real estate investment scheme in which prosecutors said he made use of a Vermont bed-and-breakfast.

Federal court documents say Benjamin Osmanson had friends and family members pose as investors and fabricated information about them in various loan application documents. Authorities say the documents were used to obtain mortgage financing for 50 properties in five states, including Vermont.

The Burlington Free Press reports a co-defendant, Jillian Protzman, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and money laundering charges last month. Two Kentucky mortgage brokers and a Florida realtor also have pleaded guilty in connection with the case.

Authorities say documents connected with the investment scheme were sent to lenders from the Highgate Manor, a bed and breakfast where Protzman lived part-time.

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