Albuquerque Real Estate Developer Pleads Guilty

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.–Local real estate developer Vincent J. Garcia, 59, on Friday pleaded guilty to committing bank fraud in the amount of $365,677 under a plea agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office.

As previously reported by CU Journal, First Financial Credit Union here made a $7 million construction loan to Garcia in February 2008. Garcia later defaulted on the loan, causing FFCU to foreclose on the “Copper Square” property in November 2009. In June 2010, Garcia was indicted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for bank fraud and money laundering.

In entering his plea, Vincent Garcia admitted that the gross loss amount to the victims of his fraudulent activity was $842,237.44. United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that Vincent Garcia entered a guilty plea to Count 3 of a 19-count superseding indictment charging him and co-defendants Derek Barnhill, 47, formerly of Rio Rancho, and David Garcia, 35, of Albuquerque, with bank fraud and money laundering charges in connection with three real estate development projects, including the Anasazi Downtown LLC.

In his plea agreement, Vincent Garcia states that his company engaged his son, co-defendant David Garcia, to act as the general contractor for the Anasazi Building and the other real estate development projects, and that David Garcia was compensated in the form of labor and materials for construction work on his personal residence. Vincent Garcia admitted that he submitted invoices for work performed on his son’s residence to First Financial Credit Union and to the Columbian Bank & Trust Co., and manipulated the invoices to appear to be direct expenses for his real estate development projects.  Vincent Garcia asserted that David Garcia was not aware that the invoices for work performed and labor provided at his residence were being submitted to the banks as direct project expenses.

At sentencing, Vincent Garcia faces a maximum penalty of 20 years of imprisonment, a $1 million fine, and restitution as ordered by the court.

 

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