MARTINEZ -- A Danville man has been charged with five felonies in connection with a scheme to stop the foreclosure of his home by defrauding Wells Fargo & Co. out of $1.2 million, the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office said Monday.
Darren Wassell, 42, was arrested Friday on a warrant charging him with conspiracy, forgery, burglary, passing non-sufficient funds checks and filing false documents. Wassell, a former real estate agent and the current CEO of the real estate investment firm Still Creek Capital, LLC, was released from jail on $100,000 bail over the weekend and has an arraignment date pending. He faces more than five years in prison if convicted.
"I believe that when all the evidence comes out, it's going to show that Mr. Wassell believed all his actions were legal, and this is all based on a civil dispute," said Wassell's attorney, Derek Ewin.
Wells Fargo was in the process of foreclosing on Wassell's five-bedroom home with a $1.2 million mortgage when, in February 2011, Wassell filed a fraudulent deed of full reconveyance with the Contra Costa County Recorder's office, said Deputy District Attorney Ken McCormick. Wassell had a friend sign off as a trustee on the document.
Then, in 2012, Wassell used a closed U.S. Bank account to issue about $1.8 million in bad checks, including one for $1,548,600 to Wells Fargo to settle his mortgage, McCormick said.
"While going through the foreclosure process, he got
Wells Fargo contacted the district attorney's office in late 2012, prompting a criminal investigation.
Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.