A finance executive and a real estate broker were found guilty Tuesday, Nov. 20, in San Diego federal court of a slate of criminal charges for their roles in a scheme that generated nearly $50 million in fraudulently obtained loan proceeds.
Following a two-week trial, a jury convicted Peter Cash Doye, 41, and 38-year-old Raquel Reid of a combined 11 counts of fraud and aggravated identity theft. Reid also was convicted of making false statements to federal agents.
According to prosecutors, the two San Diego residents defrauded lenders into making loans against four multimillion-dollar mansions in La Jolla and Del Mar, then used forged documents to make it appear that the loans had been paid off so they could obtain additional funds from new lenders.
Doye, a senior executive at the real estate investment firms Conix Inc. and Variant Commercial Real Estate, negotiated the financing from unsuspecting lenders and investors based on a host of lies about the collateral used to secure the loans, court documents state.
To pull off the scam, Doye, Reid and other co-conspirators created forged real estate lien releases and recorded fraudulent records at the San Diego County Recorder’s Office, complicating the chain of title for the homes, according to evidence presented at trial.
Reid, a notary public, notarized the forged documents, helping make the fraudulent paperwork appear authentic, according to prosecutors.
Doye’s business partner, 43-year-old Courtland Gettel of Coronado, and Arizona attorney Jeffrey Greenberg, 67, previously pleaded guilty to participating in the scheme and are serving sentences of 135 and 81 months, respectively. They also were ordered to pay more than $43 million in restitution to victims and to forfeit the proceeds of the crime.
Gettel was the owner of Conix and Variant Commercial Real Estate, which refurbished single-family homes, bought distressed debt and purchased and refurbished commercial real estate projects.
Doye, Gettel and Greenberg acquired the high-end homes in San Diego-area coastal communities by claiming that the residences would be used as luxury rentals and investment properties — though, in fact, Gettel and Doye lived in them along with their families.
When they needed money to fund other business deals, Gettel and Doye began negotiating with new lenders, pretending that the first loans never existed or had been paid off, according to court documents. Greenberg admitted that he used his expertise as a lawyer to generate and record fraudulent records, making it appear that prior loans were settled and helping close the fraudulent deals.
In late 2014, the victimized lenders began to uncover the fraud and learned that their secured interests in the properties were worthless. In response to their questions, Doye, Gettel and Reid denied knowing anything about the fraudulent loans and created more bogus documents in an attempt to cover their tracks.
“These defendants attempted to use their significant real estate experience to pull off an egregious fraud that created serious consequences for lenders and title owners,” U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman said. “As this case demonstrates, federal prosecutors are fully committed to protecting the integrity of our lending system by holding such criminals accountable.”
U.S. District Judge William Hayes remanded Doye and Reid into custody following the guilty verdicts and set the defendants’ sentencing hearings for March 4.