Two Kansas Contractors Indicted for Bank Fraud

admin —  July 23, 2007 — 8 Comments

Steve C. Middleton, 46, Overland Park, Kansas, and Jared Minor, 36, Belton, Missouri, are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, four counts of bank fraud, three counts of money laundering and one count of criminal contempt of court.

According to the Indictment:

– Doing business as Somerset Homes, Middleton obtained loans and built homes in the greater Kansas City area.

Minor was a construction contractor who worked with Middleton.

– As a result of fraud, Middleton received more than $1 million from Bank of the Prairie.

– On May 17, 2006, Middleton was indicted in another federal case. His co-defendants were F. Jeffrey Miller, Todd Earnshaw, Brian Rouse, Angela Parenza, Elizabeth Hessel, James Moser, and Lanny Ross. Middleton was released on bond after agreeing to comply with the court’s order prohibiting him from engaging in illegal activities. He and Minor violated the court’s order by defrauding the Bank of the Prairie and continuing to receive the proceeds of the fraud.

– By submitting false and fraudulent loan documents, Middleton and Minor caused the bank to make loans it would not otherwise have made.

– The defendants presented to the bank a copy of a $10,000 check from Minor to Somerset homes, representing it to be a down payment on the purchase of an $823,900 residence at 18882 Travis Lane, Stilwell, Kansas. In fact, no down payment was made because Middleton returned the check to Minor.

– Submitted to the bank an amendment to the sales contract falsely representing that the purchase price was increased from $823,900 to $1,124,000 and a document falsely stating that Minor had qualified for a $950,000 loan at 7.5 percent interest. A month later, they executed a change in the terms of the agreement to increase the amount borrowed from $659,100 to $899,200.

In the money laundering counts, they are charged with engaging in a series of monetary transactions involving a $656,000 construction loan, a $242,000 construction loan and $2.3 million from the sale of 1821 Travis Lane, Stilwell, Kansas.

In a forfeiture count, the government seeks a money judgment for $1,424,000 in loan proceeds the defendants obtained from Bank of the Prairie, $22,000 in cash and a residence at 14910 Benson in Overland Park, Kan., which is valued at approximately $289,000.

The crimes are alleged to have occurred at various times in 2005, 2006 and 2007 in Johnson County, Kansas.

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8 responses to Two Kansas Contractors Indicted for Bank Fraud

  1. Hi Rachel,

    When I see or read these kind of news, one thing comes to my mind how that bank gave loan to them without a proper inquiry???

  2. The thing that boggles my mind is that Miller was indicted twice in 2006 and this is the 2nd indictment against Middleton, yet both are still on the street and free to continue this sort of activity. How many indictments are needed before the criminal is locked up until trial??

  3. Hello, Rachel and Anne,
    Thank-you both for providing coverage of this much anticipated trial. I have been searching all over the local news…and cudos to you…this is the best coverage!

  4. What happened to Todd Earnshaw? He is selling foreclosed properties in Stilwell.

  5. What kind of a sentence did Middleton get?

  6. Miller got 9 years in Federal prison — appeal expected.

  7. I saw that about Miller and I saw Moser filed and appeal and lost. I just wondered about the others, especially Middleton.

  8. Everyone but Moser and Miller got off with no jail time, just fines — SHOCKING, but sadly true. I will never understand how Earnshaw and Middleton got by with it, especially with others who were indicted and had intimate knowledge of the schemes testified truthfully about how it all worked and who knew what when.

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