Danville Police say a local CEO has been arrested on suspicion of fraud. Defendant Darren Wassell was booked into the Martinez Jail late last week and he is facing multiple felony counts including burglary, forgery, conspiracy, attempting to falsify documents and bouncing checks. Bail has been set at $100,000.
The former real estate agent turned investment company CEO is believed to have fraudulently gotten himself out of a $1.2 million mortgage obligation. Authorities said the defendant purchased a lavish Danville home in 2005 but the bank moved to foreclose on the property just six years later. It was at that time, they said, that Danville reportedly filed a forged Deed of Full Reconveyance.
The District Attorney’s officer further believes the defendant quickly opened and closed a checking account. Once the account was closed he sent his mortgage lender a check for $1.5 million. The check bounced.
Wassel describes himself as being an honest community leader with strong ties to local faith-based groups. Prosecutors say that if he is convicted he faces a maximum sentence of five years and eight months in prison. Wassel could, though, wind up serving his full sentence at the Martinez Jail due to the 2011 prisoner realignment program. The state’s prisoner realignment requires all low level, non sexual non serious offenders serve their sentences in county jail as opposed to state prisons.
Due to the white collar nature of this crime Wassel would likely be eligible for participation in that program. He is scheduled to appear back in court later this week. Sources close to the investigation believe he will enter a plea of not guilty.