Mortgage exec gets 30 years for $3 billion fraud

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An executive convicted of orchestrating a $3 billion fraud as chairman of one of America’s largest private mortgage companies has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Federal prosecutors in Virginia had sought a life sentence on Thursday for Lee B. Farkas, former chairman of Florida-based Taylor Bean & Whitaker. They called the case against him one of the most significant arising from the nation’s financial meltdown.

A federal jury in Alexandria convicted Farkas in April of all 14 counts, including securities fraud and conspiracy.

Farkas testified that he had done nothing wrong.

Farkas is the last of seven employees and executives at Taylor Bean and Colonial Bank to be sentenced. Taylor Bean collapsed in 2009 when the scheme unraveled, putting 2,000 employees out of work.