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Man pleads guilty in Washington County land fraud case

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Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 12:03 p.m.

One of two men charged in a Washington County land fraud case pleaded guilty to wire fraud in federal court on Wednesday.

William J. Ray, 29, of Monroeville admitted to a scheme where he and Derek A. Candelore, 33, of Hempfield forged signatures and documents, fake names and fake companies to make it appear they had acquired mineral rights to multiple parcels in Washington County that they then sold to Range Resources and several other businesses and investment firms.

U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab scheduled Ray's sentencing for Jan. 10.

A federal grand jury in August indicted Candelore on five counts of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud. Those charges are still pending.

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