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Former Bellevue attorney admits guilt in state's largest mortgage-fraud scheme

A former Bellevue attorney entered a plea agreement last week over alleged connections with the state's largest mortgage-fraud scheme.

Jacob A. Korn, of Seattle, pleaded guilty to charges of willful failure to file a tax return and willful failure to supply information to the IRS.

Federal prosecutors say Korn did not report real-estate transactions that he helped close, and also did not file an income tax return for 2008. He faces up to one year in prison or five years probation, and a $25,000 fine.

Korn was the founder of Bellevue-based Emerald City Escrow, which played a central role in a scheme to siphon money from multi-million dollar home loans. The plot relied on a system of "straw buyers" and falsified mortgages.

Prosecutors say Korn was responsible for closing real-estate transactions and for holding money in trust accounts.

Federal authorities indicted several other people with alleged connections to the scheme in March 2009.

Among the indicted were Emerald City Escrow co-owner Donata Baydovskiy, mortgage brokers Vladislav Baydovskiy of Bellevue, Viktor Kobzar of Federal Way and Alla Sobol of Renton, as well as Issaquah real-estate agent David Sobol and Renton resident Camie Byron, a loan officer with Kobay Financial Corp. and Nationwide Home Lending.

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