A mortgage broker accused in a spectacular home-loan fraud has pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and wire fraud.

Richard Gottfried, 38, former owner of the now defunct National Financial Corp., a Philadelphia mortgage brokerage company, last week admitted defrauding MortgageLinq Corp. of Voorhees, N.J., of $7.5 million in loans to phantom borrowers.

Mr. Gottfried and an accomplice, Donald Steerman, were accused of deceiving MortgageLinq about 23 Atlantic City properties.

Mr. Steerman fled to New Zealand. A worldwide search by the FBI resulted in his apprehension in the Florida Keys last year. He has since died.

Mr. Gottfried, who will be sentenced in September, faces a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine.

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