Giant Real Estate Fraud Ends for Attorney

     LOS ANGELES (CN) — A San Diego businessman and a Tucson attorney face up to 25 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to a $33 million wire-fraud conspiracy involving palatial homes in La Jolla and Del Mar.
     Courtland Gettel, 42, of Coronado, and Jeffrey Greenberg, 66, of Tucson, took out “huge loans” against multimillion-dollar homes in La Jolla and Del Mar, then forged and filed documents showing the loans had been paid off, to get more loans from new lenders, “wreaking havoc on the chain of title,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Thursday in announcing the guilty pleas.
     Gettel ran a real estate investment firm known as Conix Inc. and Variant Commercial Real Estate. He and a partner claimed they were buying homes as rental properties, but actually lived in them while they negotiated the new, fraudulent loans, the U.S. attorney said.
     “Their attorney, Greenberg, admitted that he used his expertise as a lawyer to generate and record fraudulent records, making it appear that prior loans were paid off, to help close the fraudulent deals,” the prosecutor said in a statement. “This went on for more than a year, during which time Gettel, Greenberg, and their co-conspirators obtained at least $33.6 million in fraudulent proceeds from no less than eight multimillion-dollar fraudulent loans.”
     Greenberg also pleaded guilty to “an equally massive fraud” in Tucson, the U.S. attorney said.
     Both men agreed to pay restitution. Both will be sentenced on Aug. 8. They face up to 20 years for wire fraud conspiracy and five years for conspiracy, and fines of $250,000 for each charge.

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