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Former Hillsborough real estate director admits fraud

TAMPA Anthony Haynes, the former real estate director for Hillsborough County government, pleaded guilty today to mortgage fraud. Haynes, 53, of Seffner, faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison for each of two counts of wire fraud. As plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office, Haynes has agreed to pay the government at least $990,498. Haynes was indicted Sept. 21. The indictment said Haynes put false information about his income on an application for a $450,000 mortgage loan and on another application for $562,500. The mortgages were for nine lots in South Pittsburgh, Tenn., according to the indictment. The mortgages were funded by interstate wires from a federally insured bank, and the closing was conducted by mail. Haynes attorney, Daniel Fernandez, said Haynes bought the two properties as personal investments during the real estate boom of the mid-2000s.
Haynes has worked for Hillsborough County since March 1985. He was promoted to department director more than a year and a half ago under County Administrator Mike Merrill's staff reorganization. His annual salary was $104,749. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelley C. Howard-Allen.

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