Real estate agent sentenced for selling homes he didn’t own

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In this Tuesday, May 16, 2017, photo, a sign advertises an existing home for sale in Roswell, Ga. On Wednesday, June 21, 2017, the National Association of Realtors reports on sales of existing homes in May. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) – A former real estate agent is heading to prison after accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from home buyers in Pennsylvania for properties he wasn’t authorized to sell.

Ignacio Beato pleaded guilty in May to a felony count of wire fraud conspiracy.

Prosecutors say 47-year-old Beato and his co-conspirators accepted more than $750,000 from people interested in buying homes. Authorities say he never had the deeds on the Hazleton properties.

Court records show many of the buyers didn’t find out about the false sales until after they moved in, and the true property owners told them they could not live there.

A judge ordered Beato Thursday to serve four years and three months in prison and repay $65,000 in restitution.

His real estate license has been revoked.

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