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Second man pleads guilty in Washington County land fraud case

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Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013, 5:45 p.m.

The second man charged in a Washington County land fraud case pleaded guilty to mail fraud Tuesday in federal court.

Derek Candelore, 33, admitted he created fake personae and companies and forged documents to steal mineral rights from property owners. Candelore and his partner, William J. Ray, sold those rights to Range Resources and other businesses and investment firms. Ray, 29, pleaded guilty to wire fraud in September.

The U.S. Attorney's Office dismissed five other charges against Candelore in return for his guilty plea.

U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab will sentence Candelore on Jan. 31. He faces up to 240 months in prison but will likely receive a sentence between 51 and 63 months and have three years of probation. Under the plea agreement, Candelore must also pay $250,000 in fines and forfeit $1.86 million in profits from the scheme.

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