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P R E S S   R E L E A S E

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

August 23, 2012


WELD COUNTY GRAND JURY INDICTS ENGLEWOOD MAN IN CONNECTION WITH ALLEGED WHITE-COLLAR REAL ESTATE SCHEME

GREELEY, Colo. A Weld County Grand Jury has issued an indictment charging Kawika Morelli (DOB 3/1/60), of Englewood, in connection with an alleged mortgage scheme that investigators believe defrauded lenders and led to dozens of foreclosures over two years.

According to the indictment, Morelli is believed to have caused federal mortgage documents to be falsely completed, made false statements in closing documents and agreed to give undisclosed kickbacks to buyers based on inflated appraisals of homes being built in the Owl Ridge development in west Greeley. The alleged scam overinflated the prices of dozens of home between 2006 and 2008, leading to dozens of foreclosures in the 52-lot subdivision. The banks that investigators believe were defrauded in the deals included Aurora Loan Services, Silver State Mortgage, Credit Suisse Financial Corp., and Magnus Financial Corp.

The indictment charges Morelli with 10 felonies, including five counts of theft-$15,000 or more, and five counts of forgery. All of the charges are class-three felonies that carry a maximum sentence of 12 years in the Department of Corrections for each count.

A warrant for Morelli's arrest was issued in Weld County on Monday. Today, authorities contacted and arrested Morelli in the Las Vegas area. The Weld County District Attorney is seeking his extradition to Greeley. Bond in the case has been set at $50,000.

The Investigations Unit of the Weld County DA's Office launched the investigation into the alleged scam in 2011. The investigation previously resulted in two other indictments connected with the Owl Ridge development.

Russell Dunlap (DOB 5/23/1981) of West Grove, PA and Timothy Davis (DOB 4/24/1970) of Lacey, WA, were both arrested in November 2011 on charges of violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, or COCCA. Those indictments allege that Dunlap and Davis engaged in racketeering in regards to the Owl Ridge development.

Davis pleaded guilty on July 17 to one count of theft-series-$1,000 to $20,000, a class-four felony. He is schedule to be sentenced on Sept.24. Dunlap, who faces 15 felony counts relating to the sale of six homes, has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to have a disposition hearing in his case Sept. 14.

Morelli's booking photo is being withheld due to the ongoing investigation.


Source: Weld County District Attorney's Office


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