In a real estate and mortgage fraud case, a former Boise mortgage loan processor for Zion’s Bank is headed to prison for 18 months following her entry of a guilty plea in federal court.  Barbara Cobos pleaded guilty to defrauding lenders and borrowers both, by a scheme in which the true ownership of real property was disguised and construction advances were made without work having been completed. Another Defendant – Chris Upchurch – who was a local Boise builder and developer has also pled guilty and will be sentenced next week.  Sources close to the case say he too will go to prison – likely for more time than Cobos received. How much time? Could be twice that amount or more.  Two other defendants also were charged and have plead guilty to fraud related crimes.

This may just be the beginning of the real estate and banking fraud cases in our part of the state. Like Bernie Madoff, there were apparently plenty of folks who lied and cheated their way to fortunes. There will also be some folks caught up in these investigations who are INNOCENT!  If you find yourself in that situation – get an attorney BEFORE you talk to the investigator.  An experienced criminal defense attorney can help guide you to safety and perhaps avoid criminal charges.