Fraud scheme includes local ventures

Spokane developer sought investors for building projects in Coeur d'Alene, Mullan

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A Spokane real-estate developer fraudulently sought big-money investors for building projects in Coeur d'Alene and Mullan along with other similar out-of-state ventures, according to a lengthy federal court indictment.

Gregory D. Jeffreys, 53, faces more than 70 counts of fraud and money-laundering charges in U.S. District Court in Spokane, the Spokesman-Review newspaper reported recently. Prosecutors in federal court allege Jeffreys used forged documents to defraud banks and others to invest in buildings that often didn't exist, the newspaper reported.

Jeffreys is being held at the Spokane County Jail. His defense attorney, Mark Vovos, didn't return a call from The Press seeking comment last week.

The indictment, filed Jan. 25, showed Jeffreys "falsely and fraudulently proposed a $610,000 bridge loan to help fund an apartment complex purportedly located in Coeur d'Alene."

The indictment said he promised two investors a high rate of return on an investment.

The $610,000 loan was needed for a "200-unit apartment complex located in and around East Seltice Way" in Coeur d'Alene, court documents said.

Documents for the apartment complex project that were created by Jeffreys, or an associate, "stated the project was phased into dual 100-unit sites, had been purchased out of bankruptcy for $1.5 million, and that construction and mortgage loans were not yet in place."

The minimum investment was $50,000 and Jeffreys was listed as the point of contact for further details, according to the indictment documents.

On Jan. 24, 2012, an investor wired $205,000 from a bank account in Houston to a Wells Fargo account Jeffreys shared with an associate. A day later, another investor wired $100,000 from a bank account in Ruston, La., to Jeffreys' Wells Fargo account.

Jeffreys, or an associate, created promissory notes to record the investments, promising 15 percent interest and full repayment within a year, court documents said.

The indictment alleges that the Coeur d'Alene venture didn't exist, saying Jeffreys "did not possess authorization to solicit investments in the venture, and that any moneys that (the two investors) would receive would be from moneys deposited by other investors."

Jeffreys and his apparent girlfriend-associate "also falsely and fraudulently utilized the investment funds (from the Coeur d'Alene venture) for their own use and benefit, and to further the fraud scheme," the indictment documents said.

The indictment highlights allegedly fraudulent building-project schemes in Denver and San Francisco, too.

Meanwhile, Jeffreys also apparently had his eye on tiny Mullan, too.

Beginning in December of last year, Jeffreys "falsely and fraudulently proposed an investment venture" to provide housing for miners in Mullan, the indictment said.

Jeffreys sought a $410,000 bridge loan to purchase an eight-unit condominium building, called the "Mullan Midnight Condos," located at or near 306 Second St., in Mullan.

Jeffreys promised an interested party a high rate of return on an investment.

Jeffreys said "that the units were valued at $45,000 and $160,000 each, and that the $410,000 bridge loan was a worthy venture because lodging was necessary in the area for the burgeoning mining industry."

Jeffreys concealed from the investor that he didn't have authorization to solicit investments in the Mullan venture, and that any money the investor would have received in return would have been money deposited by other investors, the indictment said.

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