Sentencing hearing continues in real estate scam case

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An all-day sentencing hearing for a former Monroeville man convicted of fleecing affluent Pittsburghers in a series of real estate scams will continue this morning in U.S. District Court in Fort Myers, Fla.

The sentencing hearing for Alfredo Sararo, an ex-Allegheny County probation officer living in Naples, Fla., began Thursday before U.S. District Judge John Steele.

Mr. Sararo was convicted this summer of scamming 13 Pittsburgh-area investors during the real estate boom on Florida's Gulf Coast in the mid-2000s. Prosecutors said he used his close friendship with a retired Allegheny County Common Pleas judge, Robert Horgos, to lure the judge's friends into the bogus real estate deals.

FBI and IRS agents from Pittsburgh, who had been investigating the purchases since 2007, said Mr. Sararo prepared fake deeds, forged signatures and falsified sales agreements and loan documents to steal from investors. He also embezzled money from Mr. Horgos' bank account, authorities said.

Mr. Horgos testified under a grant of immunity at Mr. Sararo's trial this summer.

Mr. Sararo faces a possible 27 years in federal prison.

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