Developer with GJ ties sent to prison for fraud

A Weld County developer with ties to Grand Junction was sentenced Tuesday to 31 years in prison for his role in a mortgage scheme that prosecutors say left many Greeley-area families in foreclosure and defrauded lenders.

Mark Strodtman, 52, was found guilty in November of racketeering, 11 counts of forgery and 11 counts of theft of $15,000 or more.

Homeowners accused Strodtman and his associates of tricking them into buying homes they couldn’t afford. Strodtman was arrested in Mexico last year.

A company owned by Strodtman, The Shores LLC, owns about 18 acres on Orchard Mesa near the Old Spanish Trail. The Grand Junction City Council in 2008 annexed the property and zoned it to allow two units per acre. Neighbors have expressed concern that any development of the property could encroach upon the historic trail and reduce public access to it.

Matt Witt, owner of Denver-based Commercial Capital, the company that loaned Strodtman the money for the Orchard Mesa land, told the Greeley Tribune in November the company is in the process of foreclosing the property. Witt said he hoped to resell the property to a new buyer.

Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, whose office asked District Judge Marcelo Kopcow to give Strodtman a 44-year term, called the sentence “fair.”

“It was a very important sentence for the kind of work that we’re trying to do in Weld County, because we have a serious mortgage-fraud problem,” Buck said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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