Florida man convicted of real estate fraud

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Following the testimony of one current and one former Allegheny County judge, a Florida federal jury Friday convicted a former Monroeville man on tax and wire fraud charges.

The conviction of Alfredo Sararo III of Naples, a onetime Monroeville tennis champion and Allegheny County probation officer, was the culmination of a federal investigation that sought to unravel a complex series of land deals between 2004 and 2007.

Federal authorities in Pittsburgh accused Mr. Sararo of duping 13 investors -- including retired Common Pleas Judge Robert Horgos, Senior Judge Gerard Bigley and several locally prominent lawyers and doctors -- into investing a total of $3.3 million.

Prosecutors said Mr. Sararo was involved in schemes to divert the money for personal use, buy real estate at lower prices than he disclosed to investors, file false tax returns and improperly transfer real estate to himself.

Mr. Horgos and Mr. Sararo were longtime friends and former business partners, but their relationship soured as a result of the land deals.

Mr. Horgos of Sewickley Hills, who ran into personal financial problems because of his dealings with Mr. Sararo, testified for the prosecution under a grant of immunity.

Mr. Sararo was found guilty of nine counts. The jury found him not guilty of one count, and a final count was dismissed before the case went to the jury.

U.S. District Court Judge John E. Steele will sentence Mr. Sararo on Nov. 19. Mr. Sararo is free on bond.

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Jonathan D. Silver: jsilver@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1962.


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