A Walnut Creek realtor is the latest to fall in a sweeping government investigation of the often frenetic Bay Area real estate market, federal investigators have announced.
Realtor Benny Chetcuti Jr. of Walnut Creek is expected to appear April 2 before Judge Kandis A. Westmore after federal investigators brought two counts of wire fraud against him for allegedly defrauding investors who loaned him money for a home renovation and flip business Chetcuti ran between October 2002 and June 2010, U.S. Attorney for Northern California Melinda Haag said.
The prosecution, the latest in a string of indictments against area realtors capitalizing on the roller coaster real estate market, was carried out by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Investigators determined that Chetcuti obtained loans from private investors in exchange for promissory notes, but allegedly defrauded investors by misrepresenting how much debt was secured by the properties and failing to record deeds of trust that would have secured investors’ interests in the properties.
Chetcuti directed others to impersonate lenders in phone calls and forged letters purportedly written by lenders, Haag said.