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Not Quite Home Free, Prosecutors Say

MANHATTAN (CN) - The 26-year-old president of Home Free Realty was arrested Thursday and charged with defrauding customers of $1.5 million in "purported investments" in foreclosed property. Elviston Ramasir, of Manorville, claimed he could flip properties for a 40 percent profit, but stole $1.5 million of his victims' $2 million investment and never bought any property at all, federal prosecutors said.

Ramasir claimed to own 38 properties in Brooklyn and Queens, but 37 of them "either did not exist" or were owned by people who had "no apparent affiliation" with his scheme, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. His company, Home Free, had an office in East Meadow, N.Y.

In convicted of one count of wire fraud, Ramasir faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of twice the investors' loss.

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