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Burglaries, Celebrity News

One of the masterminds of the so-called Bling Ring charged with burglarizing celebrity homes pleaded no contest today to burglarizing the homes of reality star Audrina Patridge and actress Lindsay Lohan three years ago.

Nicholas Prugo, 21, pleaded no contest to two counts of first-degree residential burglary before Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler, said Deputy District Attorney Christine Kee, who is prosecuting the case.

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Prugo is expected to be sentenced to two years in state prison when he returns to court on May 4 for sentencing. A restitution hearing will be held at a later date.

As part of today’s plea, Prugo agreed to cooperate fully and to testify truthfully against the remaining three defendants — Diana Tamayo, 21; Courtney Leigh Ames, 21; and Roy Lopez, Jr., 29. If he fails to cooperate, Kee said the plea will stand, but he will face the maximum seven years, four months in state prison.

The remaining three defendants return to court on April 6 for pretrial.

All have pleaded not guilty to charges contained in an indictment alleging that between September 2008 and August 2009, the group netted more than $3 million in jewelry, designer clothes and accessories by targeting the homes of Orlando Bloom, Paris Hilton, Brian Austin-Green and Megan Fox, Lohan and Patridge.

In October, Rachel Lee, 21, the other alleged ringleader, was sentenced to four years in state prison after pleading to one count of first-degree residential burglary.

In exchange for today’s plea, prosecutors will ask that one felony count of conspiracy to commit burglary and five counts of first-degree residential burglary against Prugo be dismissed when he is sentenced.

The Los Angeles Police Department investigated the case.

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