Developer with GJ ties headed to trial in Weld County
A Weld County developer with ties to land annexed last year by the city of Grand Junction is headed to trial on charges connected to a mortgage fraud scheme.
Monday marked the deadline for attorneys to strike a plea agreement in the case against 51-year-old Mark Strodtman, and no deal was reached.
“We’re going to trial on this one,” said Jennifer Finch, spokeswoman for the Weld County District Attorney’s Office.
Strodtman has been charged with 11 counts of racketeering, 11 counts of theft and one count of racketeering. He and several associates were accused of falsifying documents to deceive buyers and lenders into purchasing and lending money for homes owned by his real estate company, JS Real Estate LLC.
Authorities say Strodtman fled to Mexico after a Weld County grand jury indicted him in March 2008. He was arrested in Mexico and returned to the United States in September.
One of Strodtman’s associates, Dean Juhl, pleaded guilty to theft last year and received a four-year deferred sentence, 30 days in jail and 100 hours of community service.
Prosecutors dropped charges against another associate, Flora Carmona, in exchange for her testimony against Strodtman.
Strodtman is scheduled to return to court for a motions hearing May 27. A two-week jury trial
starts June 15, Finch said.
Two companies owned by Strodtman, The Shores LLC, and Orchard Mesa Estates LP, own a combined 368 acres on Orchard Mesa near the Old Spanish Trail.
The Grand Junction City Council last year annexed nearly 18 of those acres at 166 Edlun Road and zoned it to allow two units an acre. Neighbors are concerned, though, that any development could encroach upon the historic trail and reduce public access to it. They unsuccessfully argued for the City Council to postpone considering any land-use applications while Strodtman’s case is pending in Weld County.