Aldridge Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud in Connection with Mortgage Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 17, 2012|
SALT LAKE CITY—Joseph Aldridge, age 51, of Draper, pleaded guilty to bank fraud Monday morning in federal court in connection with an alleged mortgage fraud scheme to get construction loans from a financial institution using materially false and fraudulent representations.
U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby set sentencing in the case for March 4, 2012, at 2:30 p.m. The potential maximum penalty for bank fraud is 30 years in prison.
The case against a co-defendant, Alan Prince, age 59, of Lehi, is pending. Prince, according to the indictment in the case, was the owner of Prince Development LLC, a Utah real estate development company engaged in the purchase, building, and selling of homes. Aldridge was a mortgage broker.
Aldridge admitted that he was contacted in April 2007 by a builder/real estate developer, identified in court documents filed today as A.P. A.P. requested that he prepare a falsely backdated loan application in the name of a purported buyer and a falsely backdated letter stating that the purported buyer was pre-approved for long-term financing for a property purchase and construction loan for a property in Murray. Aldridge knew the purported buyer had no intention of purchasing the property in question and had no knowledge his means of identification were being used on the documents. Aldridge admitted he knew that the documents, which he provided or caused to be provided to a bank, would be used by the bank in making disbursement or advancement decisions related to the Prince Development construction loan or line of credit.
Aldridge admitted he received payment from Prince Development in exchange for providing the fraudulent documents.
Relying on the documents, Proficio Bank disbursed or advanced construction loan funds or money to Prince Development. Aldridge admitted that the bank did incur financial losses as a result of his actions.
Prince is charged in the first count of the indictment with a conspiracy to get construction loans from Proficio Bank. At the time, Proficio Bank did not do lending in the speculative home building industry. To obtain money from the bank for construction loans, the bank required Prince to provide proof that buyers were pre-qualified to purchase the homes. The indictment alleges Prince falsely represented to Proficio Bank that individual buyers had committed to purchase residential homes once construction on the homes was complete and that buyers were pre-approved for permanent financing.
In addition to the conspiracy count, Prince is charged with seven counts of bank fraud and seven counts of aggravated identity theft in connection with the alleged scheme.
The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Utah and investigated by special agents of the FBI.
Indictments are not findings of guilt. Individuals charged in indictments are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in court.