Utah men accused of bilking bank in construction scheme

Published: Thursday, May 31 2012 6:34 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Two Utah men are facing federal charges in connection with an alleged bank fraud scheme.

Alan Prince, 59, of Lehi, and Joseph Aldridge, 50, of Draper, were both accused of bank fraud and aggravated identity fraud, according to a federal indictment filed Wednesday. Prince was also charged with conspiracy.

The two are accused of working together on a bogus construction project scheme that bilked Proficio Bank out of as much as $810,000.

Prince was the owner of Prince Development, LLC., a Utah-based real estate development company that purchased, built, and sold homes at the time, the indictment states. Aldridge was a mortgage broker.

Prince approached the bank in an effort to get construction loans, but the bank did not lend in the "speculative home building industry." The bank would give construction loans, though, if there was proof of pre-qualified buyers who would purchase the homes.

The indictment states that Prince told Profricio Bank that he had buyers — pre-approved for permanent financing — who were committed to buying the homes he hoped to build once they were completed. Prince is accused of then going to three mortgage brokers, including Aldridge, and asking them to provide supposed buyers.

Prince or his colleague — who is not named in the indictment — would provide the brokers with detailed information on the houses, including addresses, purchase prices and the date of the supposed loan application. The brokers, in turn, would prepare loan applications with the name of purported buyers and sign letters stating that the person was approved for long-term financing, the indictment states.

The brokers, two of whom are not named, were alleged to have been paid $500 per set of buyer loan documents. The indictment states that they used the names and identities of actual people — former clients or acquaintances — when filling out the forms, without those individuals' consent.

Prince submitted the applications and the bank relied on those documents to make their lending decisions, the indictment states.            

Federal prosecutors are seeking as much as $810,810 from Prince as part of the case. The man is facing one conspiracy charge, seven counts of bank fraud and seven counts of aggravated identity theft. Aldridge is charged with two counts of bank fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.

Both men face a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison on each count of bank fraud and a minimum of two years for every count of aggravated identity. Prince could get up to five years in prison on the conspiracy charge.

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS