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Man granted retrial because of sleeping lawyer pleads guilty

Posted August 29

— A Pennsylvania businessman who won a new trial because his first lawyer fell asleep during proceedings has pleaded guilty to fraud charges.

James Nassida pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Pittsburgh to wire and bank fraud. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/2x0Nusj ) his family and new lawyer declined to comment on the plea.

Federal agents say Nassida and his sister led a scheme to inflate borrower income and assets to obtain millions in fraudulent loans through their mortgage brokerage firm. The scheme was among the largest investigated by the local mortgage fraud task force.

Nassida's sister killed herself after the two were convicted last year.

However, a judge ruled Nassida was denied a fair trial because attorney Stan Levenson dozed off during the October trial in which he was convicted.

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