The chief financial officer of the developer of Kenwood Towne Place stands accused in federal court of diverting money from the stalled $200 million project.
Tina Schmidt, who worked for Bear Creek Capital, was indicted in federal court on charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Schmidt has entered a not guilty plea.
One paper described the problems with the project:
Kenwood Towne Place was supposed to open in 2009 as an upscale retail and office center. Instead, the building remains unfinished and retailers continue to operate beneath an exposed steel frame. Contractors walked off the construction site in 2008, saying they hadn’t been paid. Bank of America filed foreclosure in 2009, claiming an $81 million default on the construction loan.
The allegations in the indictment claim that Schmidt provided false information on documents she submitted to banks between late 2007 and early 2009. The money from the banks, perhaps over $20 million that was supposed to pay contractors. Instead, the money was diverted to other, allegedly illegal, purposes. If convicted, Schmidt could face substantial prison time and fines.
The FBI is continuing an investigation.
This type of White collar crime illustrates the need for individuals who face such charges to obtain an experienced criminal defense attorney. In our experience, the earlier a criminal defense lawyer is involved in the process, the higher the likelihood the individual can reach a positive resolution to the charges. In some cases, the attorney may be able to work directly with the investigators and the federal prosecutors to reach a resolution of the matter before charges are actually filed.