Man Sentenced for Bank Fraud Scheme Involving Real Estate Developments

Allison Tussey —  December 13, 2013 — Leave a comment

Derek Barnhill, 49, Rio Rancho, New Mexico, was sentenced to three months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, which is to include nine months of home confinement, for his bank fraud and money laundering conviction.

Barnhill also was ordered to pay $560,129.39 in restitution. The restitution is to be paid jointly with co-defendant Vincent J. Garcia.

In June 2010, Barnhill, Vincent Garcia, 61, Albuquerque, New Mexico, a real estate developer, and David Garcia, 37, Albuquerque, were charged in a 19-count superseding indictment with bank fraud and money laundering offenses in connection with three real estate development projects, including the Anasazi Downtown LLC (Anasazi Building).

Barnhill pled guilty in December 2010 to count three, a bank fraud offense, and count 10, a money laundering offense, and admitted collaborating with Vincent Garcia in a bank fraud and money laundering scheme. In August 2011, Vincent Garcia entered a guilty plea to count three of the superseding indictment and admitted committing bank fraud in the amount of $365,677 and acknowledged that the gross loss amount to the victims of his fraudulent activity was $842,237.44. Neither Barnhill nor Vincent Garcia implicated David Garcia in the criminal conduct charged in the superseding indictment, and the charges against him subsequently were dismissed.

According to court filings, Vincent Garcia executed a plan to obtain funding from the Columbian Bank and Trust Co. (the bank) by having Barnhill submit a construction loan drawn-down request containing a material misrepresentation to the Bank. The scheme began on February 12, 2007, when Garcia told Barnhill that he needed $360,000 for a “good faith payment” towards the purchase of a casino. Garcia asked Barnhill to use an old bid for sheet rock for the Anasazi Building to get the money. Barnhill altered the sheet rock bid to support a fictitious draw-down request for $365,677 and submitted the request based solely on the false invoice to the bank.

After the bank disbursed the money, Barnhill transferred the funds to an Anasazi account at New Mexico Bank and Trust. The next day, Garcia and Barnhill went to New Mexico Bank and Trust and withdrew $360,000 of the proceeds and deposited the money at Compass Bank into an account in the name of Albuquerque Downtown Partners. Thereafter, Garcia flew to Washington State with a Compass Bank check for $360,000 to make a payment on the casino.

Vincent Garcia was sentenced in April 2013 to 27 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release. He also was ordered to pay $722,543.76 in restitution. Garcia is serving his prison sentence.

This case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation, the FDIC-OIG, and the Albuquerque Office of the FBI, and it was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathon M. Gerson.

Allison Tussey

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