Steve Bunderson, 64, Salt Lake City, Utah, has been indicted and charged with making false statements to a financial institution and money laundering in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme involving the purchase of a home in Highland, Utah.
According to the indictment, in July 2006, a husband and wife listed a home for sale in Highland with an asking price of $1.5 million. Around July 15, 2006, an individual identified in the indictment by the initials P.L. and her husband executed a real estate purchase contract to purchase the property for $1.5 million.
About a month later, the sellers attended an attempted closing on the sale. The indictment alleges the sellers learned for the first time at that meeting that the purchaser would now be the defendant, Steven Bunderson, and that the purported sale price of the home was now $2.5 million. Although the sale price was listed as $2.5 million in the contract, the sellers received the purchase price they were initially offered. Bunderson, who represented himself as the legitimate buyer of the home, was provided money by P.L. for the initial purchase of the property. The majority of the financing for the purchase of the property was obtained from hard money lenders, according to the indictment.
According to the indictment, Bunderson and P.L. formed a limited liability company in February 2006 named Havenwood Investments and opened a bank account at Zions First National Bank.
Around Nov. 24, 2006, Bunderson applied for and received a $1,750,000 loan from Washington Mutual Bank to refinance the property. He applied for and received a $350,000 second mortgage from National City Bank in March 2007. The indictment alleges Bunderson made several false representations to influence the banks to make the loans, including misrepresentations about where he was living; income he claimed to be receiving from rental property; and his monthly income.
According to the indictment, Bunderson, a photographer, reported adjusted gross income on his tax returns of less than $100,000 a year during the years 2004 through 2007. He told Washington Mutual he had a monthly base employment income of $35,000 and allegedly represented to National City Bank that he earned $40,062 in gross income/base employment income per month.
The money laundering count alleges Bunderson transferred $346,275 of the $350,000 loan he received from National City Bank, which the indictment alleges was a transaction involving criminally derived property, to the Havenwood Investments account at Zions Bank.
A summons has been issued to Bunderson to appear for an initial appearance on the charges on June 8, 2011, at 10 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Warner. The potential maximum penalty for each count of making a false statement to a financial institution is up to 30 years in prison (two counts). Money laundering (one count) carries a potential 10-year sentence.
Indictments are not findings of guilt. Individuals charged in indictments are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in court.
The case is being investigated by agents of the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation.