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$1M Sale of Springdale Office Building Recalls Fraud CaseLock Icon

1 min read

Remember all the legal wreckage brought about by former Fayetteville real estate developer Brandon Barber a decade ago? Well, one of the properties at the center of all those illegalities sold for $1 million.

Kuldeep Kumar Chawla, through his SK REIT LLC of Rogers, bought a 6,364-SF office building on Executive Place in Springdale. He got a $630,000 loan from Today’s Bank of Huntsville.

The seller was BR Commercial Properties LLC, led by Brandon Rains. Rains pleaded guilty in federal court in 2013 and was fined $5,000 for making a false statement to the FBI in 2011 regarding his acquisition of that lot from Whorton Construction through its Executive Plaza LLC.

According to legal documents filed in the case, Rains and an unnamed co-conspirator “represented” to First Federal Bank of Harrison that he paid $745,000 for the .69-acre lot in 2008, when in reality the sales price was $645,000. The bank loaned $1 million to Rains to cover the purchase price and construction, and the government claimed that the excess loan funds were kicked back from seller Jeff Whorton to Rains and Barber.

Whorton pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and money laundering and was sentenced to 14 months of home detention. He died in 2017.

Barber was sentenced to 65 months in federal prison after admitting he committed fraud and money laundering.

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