The CEO of a Danville-based real estate investment company was arrested Friday on suspicion of illegally unloading himself from his $1.2 million mortgage, the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office announced Monday.
Darren Wassell, 42, has been charged with conspiracy, forgery, burglary, passing insufficient fund checks and attempting to file false documents. He faces a maximum sentence of five years and eight months. Bail is set at $100,000.
Wassell was a real estate agent until his license expired in 2010. He is currently the CEO of Still Creek Capital, LLC, a real-estate investment limited liability company.
The district attorney's office said Wassell purchased a five bedroom, three bath Danville home with a $1.2 million mortgage in 2005. In 2011, Wells Fargo moved to foreclose the home. Wassell then filed a fraudulent Deed of Full Reconveyance, which released Wassell of the mortgage.
In addition, the district attorney's office believe Wassell briefly opened and closed a checking account with US Bank in 2011. After the account was closed, he sent Wells Fargo a check for about $1.5 million. The check bounced for insufficient funds.
"This office will prosecute anyone who deceives victims and businesses of their hard-earned money in any real estate fraud scheme," Contra Costa County District Attorney Mark A. Peterson said. "We will not tolerate swindlers nor financial predators in our community.”
Wassell is being prosecuted by the Real Estate Fraud Unit of Contra Costa County.
He describes himself on his Twitter account as "Christian, Husband, Father, Friend, Youth Group Leader, Real Estate Lover."