An Anchorage commercial property builder pleaded guilty today in U.S. District court to 12 counts of making false statements to a credit union for more than $4 million in construction loan draws. Lee E. Baker, Jr. was the owner of Discovery Construction, Inc.
In 2004 Baker was approved for a $9 million loan to purchase property on Northern Lights and construct an 85 unit apartment building called Bryn Mawr. Assistant U.S. Attorney Retta Randall says between September 2005 and January 2007, Baker submitted one page construction loan draws itemizing work that he said had been completed.
“Well what Mr. Baker did on 12 different draws for over $4 million was falsify the amount of work that he claims to have completed and got the money but did not use the money to complete the Bryn Mawr project because it never did get completed,” Randall said.
Randall says the documents Baker submitted are supposed to outline the progress of the construction.
“And you list different amounts that you claim you have spent and what was completed and you certified that it is a truthful statement, so that statement is what makes the financial institution go ahead and disburse funds from the loan that has been approved,” Randall said.
Randall says the loan was defaulted on and the Bryn Mawr property was sold. Baker will be sentenced by Judge Ralph Beistline on December 4th. He faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, a fine of $1 million or both.
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