A Denver developer is in hot water Thursday after a grand jury indicted him on 42 counts that charge him with running a criminal enterprise that cost local banks and private individuals millions of dollars.
Robert Button Jr. is accused of using his companies as a front to take out multi-million dollar construction loans and then using the money for pretty much whatever he wanted. The 53-year-old is currently being held in jail and is scheduled to appear in Denver District Court on Friday, according to the Denver City Attorney’s Office.
Button reportedly took out the loans on three Denver townhome developments and used the money for his own personal benefit rather than paying for the developments. Button also reportedly failed to disclose that key information to investors who put money in for the development projects.
The development projects were Osage Place Townhomes, a 13-unit project at 4301 Osage St., City View Townhomes, a six-unit project at 3226 W. 19th Ave., and Hallack Park Townhomes, a 12-unit project at 1844 and 1846 Irving St.
According to the indictment, the contractor stopped work on the projects in March. Investigators said Button submitted fraudulent construction invoices to the bank and took construction draws intended for the contractor. Instead of paying the contractor, Button deposited them in his own accounts.
Altogether, the estimated losses to banks and private investors may exceed $8 million, according to the Denver City Attorney’s Office.
Button was indicted Nov. 9, court records show. He had accounts with Wells Fargo, Alpine Bank and Centennial Bank and Trust.
“Button fraudulently moved money from those various accounts into Wells Fargo Bank. … Button fraudulently used that account for his daily living expenses, including, but not limited to paying for food, merchandise at high-end retail stores, clothing, cosmetics, mortgage payments, life insurance premium payments, automobile insurance payments, automobile payments, personal credit card payments, airline tickets, motel rooms, automobile rentals, automotive costs, medical payments, dog and veterinary care payments and other personal expenses,” the indictment states.
Button is charged with violating Colorado’s Organized Crime Control Act, a class-two felony; money laundering, a class-three felony; eight counts of securities fraud, class-three felonies; 15 counts of identity theft, class-three felonies; and 16 counts of forgery, class five-felonies.
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