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Pa. woman sentenced to prison for wire fraud in Maryland

(JanPietruszka /

(JanPietruszka /

GREENBELT — A federal judge has sentenced a 73-year-old Pennsylvania woman to 21 months in prison for wire fraud related to real estate deals.

Last week’s sentencing came after Margie Lou Franz of Warfordsburg, Pennsylvania, entered a plea agreement with prosecutors. She was also ordered to pay about $971,000 in restitution.

According to her plea agreement, Franz managed the day-to-day operations of a title company located in Laurel, Maryland, where she prepared paperwork for real estate settlements and conducted banking transactions.

Prosecutors say that in 2013 and 2014, instead of disbursing funds as required by loan documents for those real estate transactions, Franz transferred money through wires or checks to herself and other individuals not listed on those documents.