Marc Tow, key figure in major Cleveland housing scam, sentenced to five years in prison

Exclusive 5 On Your Side probe exposed fraud

CLEVELAND - A key figure in a major Cleveland housing scam was sentenced Monday to five years in prison after an exclusive 5 On Your Side investigation exposed how investors were defrauded.

Marc Tow, 62, pleaded guilty to engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, theft and money laundering last July for his role in the scam that promised investors a substantial return on foreclosed homes in Cleveland.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Steven Gall also required Tow to pay $300,000 in restitution to investors who lost money in the scam that ultimately left 194 homes across Cleveland abandoned.

Tow's company also failed to pay hundreds of thousands in property taxes and housing court fines.

An exclusive 5 On Your Side investigation in February 2012 revealed how Tow's Newport, Calif. company, EZ Access Funding, closed its doors and left investors in the dark.

Tow has agreed to cooperate with local, state and federal authorities who may be pursuing other business associates involved in the scam.

In addition, Cleveland Housing Court Judge Ray Pianka has levied $52,000 in housing fines and ordered Tow to repay the City of Cleveland $48,788 in restitution.

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