Heritage Lending President’s trial starts in August
August 7, 2013
Heritage Lending former president Candy Wells’ trial is slated to begin August 27, while her husband has pled no contest.
Law enforcement officers arrested Candy Wells and her husband Ronald Wells in March. Candy Wells is accused of fraudulent practices in the offer and sale of securities involving “hard money” loans in real estate projects located primarily in San Luis Obispo County, and is alleged to have caused a loss of over $1.3 million to numerous victims.
In June, Ronald Wells pled no contest to being an accessory after the fact. San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge John Trice has indicated that Ronald Wells will likely be sentenced to five years of felony probation and three months jail time which he has already served. Ronald Wells remains out of jail on $40,000 bail bond.
The arrests followed an extensive three-year investigation by the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s office for crimes the couple committed between 2007 and 2009.
Enticed by the promise of 11 to 12 percent interest through property-secured investments, investors entrusted their nest eggs with Heritage Lending, a hard money lending company.
Hard money loans are based on the value of the underlying asset rather than borrowers’ credit rating. It works if the lender finances no more than 60 to 70 percent of the project and makes payments to contractors as the work progresses.
Candy Wells allegedly did not have a broker’s license, failed to monitor projects and used funds for her personal use.
In Oct. 2009, the Wells filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection claiming total assets of $854,843 and liabilities of nearly $3.8 million.
Candy Wells remains in San Luis Obispo County Jail with bail set at $2.5 million.