Calculating the damage done by Crisp & Cole

A reporter for the Bakersfield Californian provides additional details.

By Andrew Leonard

Published December 6, 2007 1:18AM (EST)

Some more details on the amazing saga of David Crisp have been kindly provided by Gretchen Wenner, one of the Bakersfield Californian reporters who has been chasing the story.

I noticed some letter writers were trying to calculate actual damages; one found not much to worry about.

Of the 60 or so homes foreclosed so far (with more than 40 others in default), all have gone back to lenders. They're sitting empty. The few that have since been bought by regular people sold for much less than Crisp's company borrowed against them. It will be some time before we know how much money was ultimately squandered. More than $62 million worth of troubled loans taken out by company associates are in our spreadsheet.

The company listed the homes and brokered many loans, so it made considerable profit with each in-house flip.

The FBI/IRS raids included an appraiser's office and the company's CPA (David Crisp's father-in-law). Perhaps the agencies suspect fraudulently inflated appraisals. Bloggers have wondered if the 100 percent loans taken out by employees included a CPA's letter "vouching" for the loan applicant's income. One woman's estranged husband -- the woman had four homes in her name, including one bought from Carl Cole's son for about $800,000 -- made $14 an hour at the company, he told us for one of the stories we printed. Another couple told us on the record they were promised $60,000 cash back, though eventually got much less.

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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