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Accountant, auditor charged in ND bank fraud case

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- Two more people have been charged in the case of a defunct Arizona mortgage lender accused of swindling Bismarck-based BNC National Bank out of about $27 million.

Lauretta Horton, former director of accounting with American Mortgage Specialists Inc., and David Kaufman, an independent auditor, have pleaded not guilty in federal court.

Horton is accused of inflating assets and altering other financial information. Authorities say Kaufman lied to investigators.

Two AMS executives, Scott Powers and David McMaster, pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud.

Authorities say AMS defrauded the bank by providing it with false financial statements and other information about the status of loans the bank had financed.

Sentencing for Powers and McMaster is scheduled April 15. They face up to 30 years in prison.