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Developer Must Repay $11,000 to Park Service in Land Fraud

September 15, 1987|From United Press International

A real estate developer convicted of defrauding the National Park Service by inflating the price of property bought by the government for parkland was ordered Monday to pay $11,000 in restitution and perform 1,500 hours of community service.

Jerry Oren of Encino was convicted July 15 of wire fraud and making false statements for fabricating a supposed $9.3-million rival offer on a 335-acre parcel being considered for purchase by the park service for the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area.

An appraiser relied on the phony offer in valuing the land at $8.4 million, far more than its true worth, and the park service bought the parcel for $8 million in September, 1984.

U.S. District Judge Harry Hupp rejected a prosecutor's request for a 90-day jail sentence for Oren, saying the public would be better served by having Oren work for the Foundation For People. The nonprofit organization provides vocational training for people placed on probation in lieu of jail.

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