Donald Sterling Whitlock, 39, and Erin Reese Whitlock, 40, formerly of Aspen and Basalt, Colorado, Southport, North Carolina and now residing in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Florida are suspected of defrauding consumers through the use of fake commercial lending companies and committing multiple identity thefts involving numerous victims.
According to the complaint, filed in Denver County District Court, the couple used at least 15 business entities, including AIG Real Estate, Allstate Real Estate and GE Capital Real Estate, to defraud consumers. None of the businesses were affiliated with the real companies. The couple is suspected of using their fraudulent companies starting in April 24, 2007 to deceive consumers and convince them to provide substantial upfront fees to secure loan commitments for real estate developments. The couple is suspected of then transferring their victims’ “commitment fees,” which ranged from $15,000 to $35,000, into their own bank accounts. No loans were ever made.
The Whitlocks also are suspected of using the personal information of victims, including their Social Security numbers and information from their passports and driver’s licenses, to continue their fraudulent operation. According to the complaint, the Whitlocks used the victims’ personal information to form companies through the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, open bank accounts and obtain credit.
“The suit alleges that the Whitlocks perpetrated an elaborate, nationwide scheme designed to not only steal money from the victims, but also to steal their identities and personal information,” Colorado Attorney General JohnSuthers said. “The civil lawsuit we filed is just an initial step to shut down the fraudulent companies the Whitlock used to further their scheme. This step also will enjoin the defendants from continuing their illegal enterprise. We will continue to pursue other courses of action and work with our partners in law enforcement across the country to address this matter.”
The lawsuit, filed in Denver County District Court, seeks the dissolution of the Whitlocks’ fraudulently created Colorado companies, civil penalties, restitution for their victims and injunctions barring future fraudulent activities.