A Riverside resident could face time in federal prison after pleading guilty to making a false statement to a financial institution in connection with a bank fraud case involving a South Loop condominium development called Vision on State, 1255 S. State St. in Chicago.
On June 17, Warren Barr III, 64, accepted a deal with federal prosecutors and pleaded guilty to one count of a 13-count indictment entered against him and five other co-defendants in May 2014.
According to the prosecution’s interpretation of federal sentencing guidelines, Barr could face between nine and a little more than 11 years in prison for his role in what federal prosecutors described as a $22.8 million mortgage loan fraud scheme.
Meanwhile, according to the plea agreement, Barr’s attorney argues that his client’s sentence with respect to prison time ought to be between zero and sixth months. The sentencing guidelines are advisory, and the judge in the case is not bound by either interpretation.
Barr will also have to pay restitution in an amount to be determined at his sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for Oct. 12, in the courtroom of Judge Charles R. Norgle at the Everett M. Dirksen Courthouse in Chicago.
Four of the other five co-defendants in the case – Robert D. Lattas, an Oak Brook attorney who represented Barr’s development company, 13th and State LLC; Jeffrey A. Budzik, an attorney representing condo buyers at Vision on State; James J. Carroll, of Naperville, who was CFO of 13th and State LLC; and Leonardo V. Sanders, who allegedly recruited people to buy condos at Vision on State and then lease them to renters — have also pleaded guilty. They await sentencing.
The fifth defendant, Asif A. Aslam, who also allegedly recruited people to buy condos at Vision on State and then lease them to renters, has a change of plea hearing scheduled for July 8.
Federal prosecutors in 2014 accused Barr and the other defendants of making false statements that caused buyers to fraudulently obtain about 60 mortgages valued at $22.8 million from several banks to buy condominium units at Vision on State.
The defendants made false statements on loan applications, including hiding the fact that Barr’s development company, 13th and State LLC, was providing money for the down payments.
According to the U.S Attorney’s Office, Barr, Carroll and Lattas “determined minimum prices 13th and State should receive for the condos and then facilitated the sale of those units at inflated prices.”
Some of the funds resulting from the difference between the two prices would be pocketed by defendants, according to the 2014 indictment. And some of the money would be used by the defendants to recruit buyers by providing incentives such as paying closing costs and condo buyers’ assessments.
Barr was indicted along with the other defendants in May 2014. While the others were arrested at the time of the indictment, Barr eluded authorities until February 2015, when the FBI arrested Barr as he stepped off a plane at Dulles International Airport in Virginia.
At the time of Barr’s indictment, the U.S. Attorney’s Office noted that he was believed to be living temporarily in Saudi Arabia.