3 Banks Added To Fraud Lawsuit

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 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 dollars 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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