Charges have been expanded against four people accused of making illegal real estate deals that netted more than $11 million, and two defendants have been added to the amended complaint, the Fresno County District Attorney's Office announced Wednesday.
The charges, filed in Fresno County Superior Court, were outlined in an indictment by the Fresno County Grand Jury that alleges grand theft, recording of false documents, false notarizing, identity theft and welfare fraud beginning in 2004.
The indictment accuses Justin Dee Linder, 37; his wife, Kelly Jo Linder, 32; Gregg Borchardt, 37; Hector Secco, 67; Ryan Leffingwell, 30; and Amy Leffingwell, 27, of making illegal real estate deals in Fresno, Madera and Riverside counties. Their hometowns could not be verified.
The Linders were indicted in nearly all of the counts, and the charges include additional enhancements that the property they allegedly took was worth more than $3.2 million.
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In one of the cases, a neighbor of the Linders, Greg Samuelian, told investigators he gave Justin Linder $67,000 in 2007 to invest in a Shaver Lake project. The investment was secured by the deed of trust on a Clovis home Linder said he owned, but he actually was in default on the loan when Samuelian made the investment.
Samuelian also told investigators Linder told him he had a contact who would create false documents and tax forms needed for a loan.
Bail was set for Justin and Kelly Linder at $2 million. Kelly Linder was arrested Monday and is scheduled to be arraigned today. An arrest warrant for Justin Linder is still outstanding, the District Attorney's Office said.
Borchardt and Secco have posted bail and the Leffingwells were allowed to remain free on their own recognizance, according to the District Attorney's Office.
In October 2010, the Linders pleaded not guilty to a 133-felony complaint charging them with identity theft, grand theft and filing false documents with a public office. Borchardt and Secco also were charged in that case.
The original criminal complaint alleged that between 2005 and 2007, the four defendants were involved in illegal real estate deals worth $9 million.
During those years, the Linders owned Summit Mortgage Services in Fresno County, where Borchardt worked as a real estate agent and Secco worked as a notary public.
The amended complaint alleges that Borchardt took real estate valued at $1.3 million. He was indicted on 51 felony counts of fraud, grand theft, filing false documents and false notarizing.
Secco was indicted on five felony counts of false notarizing. The Leffingwells were indicted on a total of 13 felony counts of grand theft of property worth more than $200,000.