ST. LOUIS (AP) - A St. Louis County man who claimed to own land in southeast Missouri that he planned to sell to Wal-Mart has pleaded guilty to mail and wire fraud involving more than $1 million in improper loans.

Fifty-four-year-old Ronald Roberts of Town and Country was accused of soliciting personal loans for a phony real estate deal connected to property he purported to own near Poplar Bluff. Roberts actually owned a small parcel more than 10 miles away in the Butler County town of Neelyville with a market value of less than $30,000. The property was also tied up by a judgment of more than $13 million against Roberts.

Roberts pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in St. Louis. Sentencing is scheduled for mid-October.

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