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By signing blank deeds, did Jeff Greene enable mortgage fraud in desert Calif. town?

RIDGECREST, Calif. — Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Greene says he had nothing to do with creating the sub-prime mortgage mess that made him fabulously wealthy.

He was simply a savvy investor who “could see that the housing market was imploding” and lucky enough to make more than $500 million by betting against it.

But he wasn’t just a spectator to the housing collapse. Four years ago, Greene was party to precisely the kind of deal that decimated the market. 

Greene insists he did nothing wrong. Yet the way he handled the deal left an opening for massive fraud and put him uncomfortably close to a man now under federal indictment.

Read the story from St. Petersburg Times staff writers Kris Hundley and Caryn Baird here.