August 30, 2012 in City

FBI seizes $75,000 from account

By The Spokesman-Review
 

FBI agents have seized $75,000 as they unravel financial dealings loosely tied to the Ridpath Hotel debacle.

The money sat in a RiverBank account controlled by Jonathan Jeffreys, the son of investigation targets Gregory and Kimberly Jeffreys.

No one has been arrested, even as the FBI alleges the couple orchestrated a multimillion-dollar real estate fraud and enriched themselves. They allegedly lured investors by using inflated appraisals on sham real estate deals, according to records of the two-year investigation.

Reached by phone Wednesday, Greg Jeffreys said: “I’ve got nothing to say to you.” A message left with his son, Jonathan Jeffreys, was not immediately returned.

Among the couple’s properties involved in the wider probe is the Halliday Building, which is part of the Ridpath complex, records show.

Also named in the broader investigation is developer Steven “Brian” Main, who has been involved in many real estate developments in the region.

Paperwork seized last month from the Jeffreys’ Spokane Valley home on North Vista Court detail how Gregory Jeffreys convinced five investors to give $325,000 toward a $2.8 million project to build a Military Entrance Processing Station in Denver.

Records state that Greg Jeffreys used Shannon Stiltner, previously identified as “possibly his girlfriend,” to send investors information about the project. She wrote that the project was a “small 9 story office building … with a GSA sign on the front.”

In the email, Stiltner wrote that contractors were “hanging the exterior curtain wall glass now.”

Further investigation revealed that the federal government is undertaking a $37 million renovation of its Cesar L. Chavez Memorial Building at the same Denver address investors were given for the purported project. And none of the construction officials had ever heard of Gregory Jeffreys. Furthermore, the government already has a Military Entrance Processing Station in Denver. It opened in 2011 at a different location.

“There is no evidence that Gregory Jeffreys has been working in the Denver areas on the aforementioned real estate projects,” FBI special agent Lisa Jangaard wrote as part of her investigation. “To the contrary, evidence to date has revealed that Gregory Jeffreys has represented to investors that he was in Denver, Colorado, while at the same time, he was also physically observed by other witnesses in Spokane.”

Some funds from the fictitious Denver deal were deposited into the RiverBank account of Jonathan Jeffreys, leading to the seizure on Aug. 17.

In a separate case, the FBI described how Gregory and Kimberly Jeffreys took a $1.8 million payment destined to a local bank and instead used the money to pay debts; gave some of the cash to their children; and then spent thousands on gambling and entertainment at the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas.

Jangaard described a “large volume” of money passing through an account jointly held by Gregory Jeffreys and Stiltner “which shows receipts of investments or monies from other individuals and entities, and … conversion of that money for personal benefit and/or for the payment of other believed investors and creditors, indicates that Gregory Jeffreys and others are likely involved in the perpetuation of a Ponzi scheme.”

One of the investors in the Denver deal also loaned Gregory Jeffreys $600,000 for a San Francisco building that didn’t exist.

The documents detail how Jeffreys convinced other investors to collectively give him $195,000 for two “non-existent” condominium units also purported to be located in San Francisco.

“In furtherance of the scheme, Gregory Jeffreys altered an existing appraisal on his own condominium unit by changing the address of the appraised properties, the comparable properties and other relevant data,” Jangaard wrote. “These representations were made verbally … through electronic mail messages, and in documents mailed to the investors.”

In another case, Gregory Jeffreys convinced others on Aug. 3 to create a fictitious deed of trust for a Spokane home – an effort to persuade yet another person to invest, according to records.

The homeowners listed on the deed had not authorized the new deed “nor were they even familiar with Gregory Jeffreys.”

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