Federal Grand Jury Returns Indictment Charging Individuals in Alleged Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office May 31, 2012|
SALT LAKE CITY—A federal grand jury returned a 15-count indictment Wednesday afternoon charging Alan Prince, age 59, of Lehi; and Joseph Aldridge, age 50, of Draper, with conspiracy, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft in connection with an alleged scheme to get construction loans from a financial institution using what the indictment alleges were materially false and fraudulent representations.
Prince, according to the indictment, 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.
Prince is charged with conspiracy in the first count of the indictment for what the indictment alleges were efforts 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 prequalified to purchase the homes. The indictment alleges Prince 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.
The indictment alleges that as a part of the scheme, Prince or someone acting at his direction would contact mortgage brokers, including Aldridge, with requests for the brokers to provide purported buyers for the properties. Prince gave the brokers information about the properties, including the addresses, purchase prices, dates of the purported loan application, and often the amounts of the deposit or down payments. Using this information, the brokers would prepare a loan application using the name and information of a purported buyer and a letter signed by the broker stating that the purported buyer was pre-approved for long-term financing.
To prepare these documents, the indictment alleges Aldridge and others used the actual identification of former clients or acquaintances but altered and inflated the information about these individuals’ income and assets. The information was used without the knowledge, authorization, or consent of the former clients. The indictment alleges Prince or others acting at his direction paid the mortgage brokers approximately $500 for each set of purported buyer loan documents provided to them.
The indictment alleges that Prince submitted the fraudulent loan applications and pre-approval letters to the bank and the bank relied on the information in making lending decisions.
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. Aldridge is charged with two counts of bank fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. The potential maximum penalty for the conspiracy count is up to five years in prison. Each count of bank fraud carries a potential 30-year sentence. The penalty for each count of aggravated identity theft is a two-year mandatory minimum sentence.
As a part of the case, federal prosecutors intend to seek a money judgment of $810,810 against Prince.
A summons will be issued to Prince and Aldridge to appear for an initial appearance on the charges. 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.