Attorney General announces settlement with former Roaring Fork Valley resident accused of elaborate fraud scheme

DENVER — Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced today that attorneys from the office’s Consumer Protection Section have reached a settlement with Donald Sterling Whitlock (DOB: 5/6/1970) that secured full restitution for the victims of his elaborate identity theft and commercial-lending scheme.

Under the settlement, approved in a Denver District Court, Whitlock is prohibited from setting up any mortgage-related or other financial-services business in Colorado or using any aliases or fake businesses to conduct business in Colorado. Whitlock also will be required to pay $136,156 in restitution and $40,000 in civil penalties, fees and court costs. Whitlock also will be liable for an additional $500,000 penalty if the Office of the Attorney General discovers any undisclosed financial transactions that Whitlock secured related to the fraud scheme between April 1, 2007 and March 4, 2010.

“This settlement is a tremendous victory for the people of Colorado and all of the victims of this complex fraud scheme,” Suthers said. “This conclusion is particularly remarkable given the speed we secured restitution for the victims and a court order preventing Mr. Whitlock from perpetrating the same fraud scheme again.”

According to the Office of the Attorney General’s lawsuit, filed in Denver District Court in December, Whitlock used a series of business entities with names similar to the lending arms of well known companies to defraud consumers. None of the entities Whitlock created were affiliated with the real companies. Whitlock is suspected of using the entities he established to convince consumers to provide substantial upfront fees to secure loan commitments for real estate developments. Whitlock also was suspected of stealing his victims’ personal information, secured from prospective investors, and using their identities to set up other fake businesses.

The complaint against Whitlock’s wife, Erin Reese Whitlock (DOB: 7/11/1969), was dismissed as part of the settlement. Donald Whitlock, a resident of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Fla., has resided in Aspen, Basalt and Southport, N.C.

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