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Sting Operation Nets Six Arrests in Connection With Mortgage Fraud Centered on Home of Former Atlanta Brave

PRESS ADVISORY

Sting Operation Nets Six Arrests in Connection With Mortgage Fraud Centered on Home of Former Atlanta Brave

June 30, 2005

Attorney General Thurbert Baker announced this afternoon that six arrests had been made in conjunction with a real estate sting operation involving the sale of former Atlanta Braves outfielder Ron Gant’s home. The home, located in Alpharetta’s Country Club of the South development, was the center of a proposed fraud that would have netted those engaged in the fraud at least $800,000.00 in fraudulent proceeds. The sting operation was conducted jointly between the Office of the Attorney General and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The Attorney General’s Office emphasized that Ron Gant and his wife were not party to the fraud and cooperated fully with law enforcement in setting up the sting.

Arrested today were Dan DelPiano, Pam DelPiano, Grant Faglier, Carna Jean Faglier, Kota Suttle and Frederick Gardner. The fraud centered around the Fagliers purchasing the home from the Gants for $2.8 million, and then immediately flipping the home in a pre-arranged deal to the DelPianos using an appraisal that valued the home at $4.9 million. The amount of the loan on the second transaction was to be for $3.6 million, with the initial sale by the Gants to be a cash transaction. Suttle and Gardner are law partners who set up both real estate transactions and acted as closing attorneys.

Attorney General Baker, in announcing the successful sting, praised the mortgage company for bringing this fraud to light and the Gants for assisting in setting up the sting. Baker continued, “Mortgage fraud continues to be a blight on communities ranging from tract houses to subdivisions involving multi-million dollar homes. My office has made preserving the integrity of the real estate market a priority, and we will continue to bust fraud rings whether they are trying to illegally pocket $50,000 or $500,000. Today’s fraud is especially troubling, as the closing attorneys in this transaction who are supposed to safeguard the integrity of the real estate process have been arrested on the belief that they enabled and participated in the fraud.” All six of the individuals have been arrested for three counts of mortgage fraud, which carries a sentence of one to ten years imprisonment. Dan and Pam DelPiano were also charged with one count of racketeering, which carries a sentence of five to twenty years imprisonment. Grant Faglier was also arrested for possession of a firearm during commission of a felony. The Attorney General’s office anticipates more arrests and additional charges against those arrested as the investigation proceeds.

Assistant Attorney General David McLaughlin spearheaded the investigation for the Attorney General’s Office. Special Agents Clay Nix, Boykin Jones, Kelly Bowles, Jack Vickery and Carter Bank of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Sergeant JL McCracken and Detective S Jones of the DeKalb Police Department participated in the sting.