Walnut Creek Real Estate Investor Indicted for Fraud

March 31, 2014 10:30 am · 15 comments

A federal jury in Oakland indicted a Walnut Creek real estate investor for fraud on Thursday, a U.S. attorney said.

Benny Chetcuti Jr. was indicted on two counts of wire fraud stemming from his real estate business, U.S. Attorney for Northern California Melinda Haag said.

The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The indictment alleges that Chetcuti defrauded private investors who loaned money to him for his business between October of 2002 and June of 2010, according to Haag.

The federal attorney said that Chetcuti’s business of purchasing homes, renovating them and then selling them to new owners, began in 1998.

In order to finance his home flipping business, Chetcuti obtained loans from private investors in exchange for promissory notes.

However, the indictment alleges that the defendant defrauded investors by misrepresenting how much debt was secured by the properties and failed to record deeds of trust that would have secured investors’ interests in the properties, according to Haag.

Additionally, Chetcuti was indicted for directing others to impersonate lenders in phone calls and forging letters purportedly written by lenders, Haag said.

Chetcuti has been summoned to make his initial court appearance at 9:30 a.m. on April 2, before Judge Kandis A. Westmore, Haag said.

The maximum penalty for each count of wire fraud violation is 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross loss or gain resulting from the offenses, plus restitution and forfeiture, according to the U.S. attorney.

{ 15 comments }

1 Pro Fi March 31, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Go get em! Amazing how they never thought they’d get caught. Waiting to see how many more they find.

2 Martinez Victim March 31, 2014 at 12:12 PM

He was my landlord in Martinez. I stupidly gave him a year total of rent money in exchange for a slight monthly discount. He forclosed after 6 months. I honestly thought he’d get away with it…

3 Rose Garden March 31, 2014 at 12:46 PM

G-R-E-E-D!!!!!

4 Silva March 31, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Good. Got another dirty low life! Let’s get some more of these predators. Hope there’s some restitution in it.

5 GreedyNut March 31, 2014 at 1:37 PM

There is so much greed going on. Don’t these nuts realize they almost always get caught. Too stupid. I hope they catch all of them.

6 Clayton Resident March 31, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Good. Problem is there is too many more just like him out there ready to steal from hard working people. Any victims I am deeply sorry.

7 CaptainK March 31, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Restitution for what you moron??? He made those “investors” a lot of money and the government doesn’t like it when they dont get a piece of the action. And for the “victim” who says he was your landlord- you made a deal for thousands of dollars and have no paper trail? Why would you give money to a stranger without an agreement. And yeah he wasn’t able to keep you in the house because he had to give up all of his property. What were you expecting? Give me a break nobody got ripped off and this man has already given up everything he ever owned. What? Do you want to call for his head or something??? Check the facts, how many times does someone have to pay for their mistakes?

8 Mimi (original) March 31, 2014 at 3:29 PM

@Martinez – sorry you got taken…

9 Pro Fi March 31, 2014 at 5:11 PM

@ CaptainK – You don’t know the situation so get off Martinez’s a%$. I think it’s safe to say that Martinez expected a place to live for the time paid for. Folks like this are the real victims. I betcha most of his victims bought homes that were poorly rehabbed with lots of issues. Besides, he was indited for crimes against investors and wire fraud, not the (IMHO) defrauding of individuals needing housing. That is the real shame here.

YES… I want to call for his head! It is amazing that ANYONE would defend this monster. Silvia is 100% on the mark… restitution to those effected, especially people in Martinez’s position. And yes, he should pay for his crimes… NOBODY got ripped off??? Pahleeze! You are ill-informed to be sure. This is not about the government not getting a piece, it is about white-collar criminals getting caught, plain and simple. IT IS ABOUT TIME!!!

Have a feeling this isn’t the last individual we hear about.

10 rw March 31, 2014 at 10:17 PM

Benny Chetcuti Jr. indicted for fraud? What took them so long? I met this douche bag a couple of times and in addition to being a complete fraud he also suffers greatly from little, bald man syndrome. I flip houses for a living and competed in the same area as this Chetcuti character did. Glad to hear they caught up with him.

11 ANNON April 1, 2014 at 8:05 AM

@CaptinK… How can you even think of defending someone like this. Sounds like you may have been part of the act to be so sympathetic with him. The people you should be sympathetic with is the people he screwed all these years!!! He needs to do his time!!
I also have a feeling otheres are involved!!! Go get em!!!

12 rich April 1, 2014 at 2:52 PM

A partial list of victims
Party Name Type Case Name Category Case Number Filed
CHETCUTI, BENNY CROSS DEFENDANT CARON VS LOFQUIST CONTRACT/BREACH OF WARRANTY CIVMSC08-02785 11/05/2008
CHETCUTI, BENNY DEFENDANT BANIS VS MAGNATE OTHER REAL PROPERTY/QUIET TITLE CIVMSC10-00601 03/05/2010
CHETCUTI JR, BENNY DEFENDANT J REED ROBBINS TRUST VS. CHETCUTI CONTRACT/BREACH OF WARRANTY CIVMSC09-01972 07/07/2009
CHETCUTI JR, BENNY DEFENDANT RAMERMAN VS. CHETCUTI OTHER – CONTRACT CIVMSC10-01510 05/12/2010
CHETCUTI JR, BENNY DEFENDANT CHASE BANK VS CHETCUTI COLLECTIONS – CONSUMER CREDIT (CRC 3.740) CIVMSL10-03929 05/17/2010
CHETCUTI, KIMBERLY DEFENDANT DAVE WOODS VS. CHECUTI & ASSOCIATES, INC. CONTRACT/BREACH OF WARRANTY CIVMSC09-03517 12/21/2009
CHETCUTI, KIMBERLY DEFENDANT CHARTER OAK PROPERTIES, LLC VS CHETCUTI OTHER REAL PROPERTY/QUIET TITLE CIVMSC11-00221 01/27/2011
CHETCUTI, LAREINE PLAINTIFF LEREINE CHETCUTI VSADAM J. WRIGHT PI/PD/MOTOR VEHICLE (MARTINEZ) CIVMSC95-03009 07/13/1995
CHETCUTI, ROSE G PLAINTIFF REEVES VS SHEA HOMES CONSTRUCTION DEFECT CIVMSC01-03297 08/16/2001
CHETCUTI, SMAUEL M PLAINTIFF REEVES VS SHEA HOMES CONSTRUCTION DEFECT CIVMSC01-03297 08/16/2001
CHETCUTI, JR, BENNY PLAINTIFF CHETCUTI VS COWAN CONTRACT/BREACH OF WARRANTY CIVMSC03-01727 07/14/2003
CHETCUTI, JR, BENNY CROSS DEFENDANT CHETCUTI VS COWAN CONTRACT/BREACH OF WARRANTY CIVMSC03-01727 07/14/2003
CHETCUTI, JR, BENNY CROSS COMPLAINANT CHETCUTI VS COWAN CONTRACT/BREACH OF WARRANTY CIVMSC03-01727 07/14/2003
CHETCUTI, JR, BENNY DEFENDANT SMITH-IVES VS CHETCUTI CONTRACT/BREACH OF WARRANTY CIVMSC09-02587 09/15/2009
CHETCUTI, JR, BENNY DEFENDANT MCDERMOTT VS CHETCUTI & ASSOCIATES, INC. CONTRACT/BREACH OF WARRANTY CIVMSC09-03123 10/30/2009
CHETCUTI, JR, BENNY DEFENDANT MORRIS V. CHETCUTI CONTRACT/BREACH OF WARRANTY CIVMSC09-03160 11/12/2009
CHETCUTI, JR, BENNY DEFENDANT DAVE WOODS VS. CHECUTI & ASSOCIATES, INC. CONTRACT/BREACH OF WARRANTY CIVMSC09-03517 12/21/2009
CHETCUTI, JR, BENNY CROSS DEFENDANT CMTH VS MAGNATE FUND #2 PROFESSIONAL NEGLIGENCE/LEGAL MALPRACTICE CIVMSC10-00609 03/09/2010
CHETCUTI, JR, BENNY DEFENDANT CHARTER OAK PROPERTIES, LLC VS CHETCUTI OTHER REAL PROPERTY/QUIET TITLE CIVMSC11-00221 01/27/2011
CHETCUTI, JR., BENNY DEFENDANT STEVE R. MERRIAM VS. CHECUTI & ASSOCIATES, INC. FRAUD CIVMSC09-02789 10/05/2009
CHETCUTI, JR., BENNY DEFENDANT DAVE WOODS VS. CHECUTI & ASSOCIATES, INC. CONTRACT/BREACH OF WARRANTY

13 Hiphopannonymous April 1, 2014 at 3:48 PM

@captaink…he didn’t make the investors money. Its a Ponzi scheme. He took their money promising to invest in a property and then sold said property, while reporting a substantial loss to investors and keeping the profits in offshore accounts. The “big money” investors lost millions and the smaller ones lost the entire savings and homes. I agree with ANNON, you must definitely be related to OR are actually said deuche chetcuti.

do us a favordon’t breed

14 karmamamma April 1, 2014 at 6:27 PM

CaptainK needs to pull their head out of the Chetcuti hole. If you think for one second that he is honest in anyway what so ever, so be it. The list of victims tell another story. He took from everyone around him. No one was safe. Not family, friends, or innocent tenants.

15 ANNON April 2, 2014 at 9:51 AM

I belive that Checuti was the brother in law to one of the officers (Butler & Associates) in the 2011 police scandal with Norman Wielsch and Steven Tanabe. It seems all their monies were from illegal plays!!!

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