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A Staggering Swindle, a comprehensive and riveting mortgage-scam investigation by voiceofsandiego.org, has been chosen as a finalist in the investigative reporting category of the 2009 Online News Association awards.

“We were regularly awed, inspired and delighted by the quality and innovation evident online today,” said Anthony Moor, co-chairman of the awards committee and deputy managing editor of The Dallas Morning News, in a press release.

The VOSD series was the result of a three-month investigation by Kelly Bennett and Will Carless.

Part One focused on how Bay Area-man Jim McConville used rented identities to buy 81 San Diego-area condos and pull more than $12.5 million from the deals, leaving a trail of ruined credit and mass foreclosure in his wake. Part Two showed how the real estate financing system remained vulnerable to greed and deception despite the well-publicized efforts to clamp down on the easy-money excesses of the housing boom.

The other finalists in the Investigative Reporting, Small Site category are:

The winners will be announced Oct. 3 at ONA’s annual conference.

ANDREW DONOHUE

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