Investors: Banks aided in $100 million real estate fraud scheme

Three banks have been added to a multimillion-dollar lawsuit stemming from a state investigation into a failed real estate venture in western North Carolina.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports Friday that BB&T of
Winston-Salem, United Community Bank of Georgia and Carolina First
of South Carolina are now defendants in the suit.

Investors filed the suit after the financial collapse of a
1,300-acre mountain development named the Village of Penland. The
project involved properties that were used as loan collateral, but
appraisals far exceeded the actual value of the land.

State prosecutors said setup led consumers to borrow $100
million to buy properties now worth far less. Attorneys for the
investors said the financing scheme would have been impossible had
the banks not been involved.

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