Trial Set In MBL Fraud Case

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Authorities have scheduled a trial for a local real estate developer, his son and a business partner who have been charged with siphoning more than $2.4 million in loans from First Financial CU and a now-failed Kansas bank meant for a downtown development for their own personal use.

Vincent Garcia, his son David Garcia, and their business partner Derek Barnhill on June 10 were charged with federal felony counts of bank fraud, money laundering and illegal transfers of money after an investigation by the FBI, IRS and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The three men pleaded not guilty at their June 25 arraignment.

The men were charged with bank fraud and money laundering in the use of $9 million in loans loan granted to build the $9 million Anasazi Downtown – a nine-story condominium project. A federal grand jury indictment charges that as much as $2.5 million of the loan proceeds were used on items such as a private residence for David Garcia and an interest in a casino for Vince Garcia.

The Garcias obtained an $11 million construction loan from the now defunct Columbian Bank and Trust Co. of Topeka, Kan., then $7 million from First Financial CU to pay for change orders at the project.

Work on the project was stopped several months after federal regulators seized the Kansas-based bank that was financing it, Columbian Bank and Trust. The Topeka bank was shut down by the FDIC a year ago.

Nineteen instances of the defendants illegally obtaining money adding up to $2.45 million are listed in the indictment. Vincent Garcia also used cashier's checks for almost $500,000 to purchase an interest in J&J Casino, according to court documents.

A trial has been scheduled for next May.

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