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SC Councilman Pleads Not Guilty

Paul Lindemann enters not guilty plea in case involving $979,500 loan

May 4, 2011

By JAMIE SELF The Herald - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- A former county councilman in South Carolina has formally proclaimed his innocence in a case where he is accused of lying on an application for a $979,500 mortgage from RBC Centura Bank.

Former York County councilman Paul Lindemann pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a federal charge of mortgage fraud.

Lindemann and a co-defendant, Michael Keith Hallman, face one count each of making a false statement on a mortgage document.

Lindemann, 31, of Fort Mill was released on a $50,000 bond. He was ordered to surrender his passport, and he may only travel in the Carolinas.

Lindemann and Hallman were in federal court for an arraignment hearing.

Hallman also pleaded not guilty and was released on the same bond with the same restrictions.

Their attorneys have until May 23 to file motions in the case. Lindemann requested and was appointed an attorney by the court.

Lindemann declined to comment after the hearing, saying: "We're going to leave it up to Jesus, and with prayer we'll get through it."

Hallman also declined to comment.

Hallman's attorney, Jim Morton, said he will wait until more evidence is presented before making a statement.

Lindemann and Hallman were indicted last month by a federal grand jury. According to the indictment:

In February 2008, Lindemann and Hallman made false statements to influence mortgage lender RBC Centura Bank.

The false statements were made in connection with a mortgage refinancing loan Lindemann applied for in the amount of $979,500 for a property at 29022 Windjammer Drive in Tega Cay, a property Lindemann said he formerly owned.

The property on Windjammer Drive has come up in court before.

Last year, Lindemann was ordered to pay $14,800 to Diane O'Brien, who sued him after investing in the same Tega Cay house, court records show. The plan was to renovate and "flip" the house for profit. But the house was sold in a tax sale after the taxes weren't paid on it, according to a county official.

At the time of the sale, RBC Centura Bank had already begun foreclosure proceedings on the house. The bank recovered it from the tax sale before completing the foreclosure, a county tax official confirmed.

O'Brien said Lindemann never paid her the money he owed her.

When asked about O'Brien's claim on Tuesday, Lindemann said, "I have no comment for her."

"That one's over," he said.

Lindemann represented Fort Mill for two terms on the York County Council. He was first elected in 2006. He lost his re-election bid in the 2010 GOP primary.

Jamie Self 803-329-4062.

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