LAS VEGAS -- A judge handed down a stiff prison sentence to a former Las Vegas real estate broker convicted in one of the biggest mortgage fraud cases in Nevada. Prosecutors say the scheme caused more than $24 million in losses to banks.
Victims say they have waited four years to see justice done. Friday morning they got their wish when Eve Mazzarella was sentenced to 14 years in prison and ordered to pay $2.3 million in restitution. She refused to comment after leaving the federal courthouse.
Mazzarella's ex-husband Steve Grimm was sentenced to 25 years and their associate Melissa Beecroft received a three year sentence. The trio was involved in a complicated scheme to con people into making real estate investments. Prosecutors say Mazzarella and Grimm would buy properties under the name of "straw buyers" and re-sell them to other buyers at inflated prices. At least 143 of the 227 properties involved are in default causing banks to lose millions.
One of their victims was Norma Hayward who lost everything.
"I am 83 years old this year; I've raised five children. My home was my only thing to leave them as an inheritance and he took that away from me." Hayward said.
Mazzarella will remain out of prison on bond. She will report to begin serving her sentence on June 29.