A San Diego business owner and his corporate attorney were sentenced to prison Tuesday for participating in a massive scheme that earned them and their co-conspirators tens of millions of dollars in fraudulently obtained proceeds.
Businessman Courtland Gettel, 43, was sentenced to more than 11 years in federal prison, while Jeffrey Greenberg, a 67-year-old attorney from Arizona, was given a nearly seven-year term.
Prosecutors said Gettel — who owned a real estate investment firm known as both Conix Inc. and Variant Commercial Real Estate — fraudulently convinced lenders to make enormous loans against four multimillion-dollar mansions in La Jolla and Del Mar, then used forged documents created by Greenberg to make it appear that the loans had been paid off. The defendants were then able to secure additional loans from new lenders who believed the homes were owned free and clear.
Both Gettel and Greenberg admitted that they, along with Gettel’s business partner Peter Cash Doye, acquired the high-end homes in La Jolla and Del Mar by claiming they would be used as luxury rentals and investment properties, although in fact, Gettel and Doye lived in the properties along with their families, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
When they needed money to fund other business deals, Gettel and Doye began negotiating with new lenders, pretending that the first loans never existed or had already been paid off, prosecutors allege.
Greenberg admitted that he used his expertise as a lawyer to help Gettel and Doye generate fraudulent records to close the deals.
Doye, a senior financial executive at Conix, and Raquel Reid, a notary public and real estate broker who also worked at Conix, were indicted last month for their alleged roles in the fraud.
According to the indictment, Doye negotiated the financing from unsuspecting lenders and investors based on a host of lies about the collateral used to secure the loans. To pull off the scam, Doye, Reid and Greenberg created forged real estate lien “releases” and recorded fraudulent records at the San Diego County Recorder’s Office, wreaking havoc on the chain of title for the homes, prosecutors allege.
Reid notarized the forged documents, helping to make the fraudulent paperwork appear authentic, according to the indictment.
Doye, 41, and Reid, 39, have pleaded not guilty and are expected back in court Nov. 3.
–City News Service