Paso Robles lender Linda Kennedy in jail
July 24, 2012
Former Paso Robles lender Linda Ann Kennedy of 21st Century Financial in Paso Robles is slated to be arraigned today on four felony counts in the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court.
Kennedy, 49, allegedly swindled more than 1,000 investors out of millions in a lending scheme involving hard money. In August 2007, when she closed the firm, the company held a $100 million real estate portfolio.
Hard money lenders specialize in short term, high interest construction loans that are often used as bridges to help a developer finish a project. Loans are based on the value of the underlying asset rather then the borrower’s credit rating. These kinds of loans are primarily funded through private investors.
Following an extensive four-year investigation by the California Department of Corporations and the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s office, Kennedy was arrested on July 16 in Tennessee. She was later extradited back to California and booked into the San Luis Obispo County Jail with no bail.
The district attorney’s office charged Kennedy with four felony counts and ten special allegations related to fraudulent practices in the offer and sale of securities involving “hard money” loans in real estate projects located primarily in San Luis Obispo County in a criminal complaint filed in March 2012.
The San Luis Obispo County Superior Court has frozen her personal assets, including real estate, bank accounts, all other financial accounts, vehicles and any and all other things of value, whether the assets have been specifically listed or identified or not. The court orders prohibit anyone from selling or secreting these assets.
In Feb. 2011, Kennedy returned to Paso Robles for a short time after fleeing to Costa Rico in 2009.