Six accused in Fresno based real estate scheme

FRESNO, Calif.

The six men and women are all from Fresno. Together, they face a total of 180 counts, ranging from identity theft, to notarizing fake documents.

According to the district attorney's office, the six defendants were involved in a series of illegal real estate dealings, totaling more than $11 million. This illegal activity took place in Fresno, Madera and Riverside counties. One legal expert tells us, they would steal people's information and use that to apply for loans and purchase homes.

The more than 100 page complaint alleges between 2004 and 2007, Justin Linder and his wife Kelly owned and operated a business inside a Northeast Fresno building, called Summit Mortgage Services. Here, they allegedly obtained millions of dollars in fraudulent loans.

Kelly Keenan said, "They were indicted for real estate fraud, identity theft, notarizing fraudulent documents."

Kelly Keenan is Fresno County's chief assistant district attorney. He says four other people are accused of helping the Linders obtain that money.

- Gregg Borchardt was indicted on 51 felony counts, including grand theft, and recording false documents.

-Hector Secco was indicted on 5 felony counts of false notarizing.

-Ryan and Amy Leffingwell were indicted on a total of 13 counts of grand theft.

The six were arrested last October. This week a grand jury handed down the indictment.

Keenan said, "In complex cases, involving high dollar amounts, lots of evidence, a grand jury is another option."

In addition to the real estate fraud, the Linders are also accused of fraudulently accepting welfare checks.

Officials with the Fresno County District Attorney's Office say while this case is complex, real estate fraud is a big problem throughout the county. And budget cuts, only make the problem worse.

Keenan said, "We're the people who primarily investigate it and we're very understaffed to do that, we have one DA and one investigator basically."

Kelly Linder is scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning. A court date for her husband, as well as the others involved in this case is set for Friday.

At this point, however, law enforcement doesn't know where Justin Linder is. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

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