Grand Jury Indicts 9 In Short Sale Scheme

Our team prides ourselves on helping homeowners avoid foreclosures by providing real, competent and compassionate help with Denver Short Sales. While many other agents are hardworking and genuine, we have encountered others in the industry that don’t take the same care. It makes us sick to see people in one of the most financial tragic situations they can face taken advantage of.

That’s why it brings a giant smile to our faces to see justice being served to 9 individuals who targeted distressed homeowners, lenders and banks. These 9 individuals need to be named and shamed and an example made so that those facing short sales in Denver are protected and receive fair representation.

Here’s a brief summary of the scheme from The Denver Business Journal as well as the individuals indicted by a Grand Jury:

Suthers explained another key tactic: “The use of family members or business associates to serve as ‘straw buyers’ who were fraudulently represented to the banks as being arms length purchasers who also had the financial resources to legitimately purchase real estate. At the same time, a member of the enterprise would list the property in order to sell it to an innocent third party buyer, usually for a significantly higher price than the bank had agreed to. The enterprise then relied on the complicit actions of a closing agent at a title company to synchronize two closings to occur on a set schedule, so that the innocent parties in these transactions would remain unaware of the fraudulent activity surrounding the short sale.”

The eight individuals being charged with multiple offenses, including violating the state’s organized crime control act, are:

  • Wendy Thomas, 46, of Chicago, previously of Thornton
  • Cristina Nicole Smith, 42, of Thornto
  • Kurt Smith, 58, of Thornton
  • Sheila Gaston, 59, of Elizabeth
  • Sheila Giberti, 45, of Broomfield
  • Duane Thomas, 44, of Thornton
  • Christopher Consol, 43, of Englewood
  • Janice Gardner, 46, of Brighton

Under COCCA, if convicted, each could be sentenced to up to 24 years per count.

The ninth charged individual, Joseph Slowey, 47, of Denver was charged with three other felony offenses that were related to the overall scheme.






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