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LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNALPosted: Jan. 14, 2013 | 6:03 p.m.A Las Vegas lawyer pleaded guilty Monday to a felony conspiracy charge stemming from a mortgage fraud scheme, federal authorities said.Gerry Zobrist, 43, who has also served as a pro tem justice of the peace in Las Vegas Justice Court, faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud.Authorities said that between 2006 and 2008 he and his unnamed accomplices paid straw buyers to purchase 144 homes in the valley, obtaining mortgage loans for more than $53 million.They completed and submitted applications that contained fraudulent information about the straw buyers' income and assets. Part of the sales proceeds then went to real estate companies and other entities controlled by Zobrist and his accomplices, authorities said.They then defaulted on the loans, causing the homes to foreclose and inflicting more than $30 million in losses to financial institutions.In 2006 the lawyer ran for justice of the peace in Las Vegas Justice Court and lost.A call to Zobrist's office seeking comment was not returned.His sentencing is scheduled for April 15.