Ex-president of Paso's Heritage Lending gets 5 years in prison

newsroom@thetribunenews.comSeptember 19, 2013 

Candy Lee Wells, 58, was arrested Tuesday, March 12, 2013, in Southern California on suspicion of grand theft and fraud. Original story »

The former president of a Paso Robles lending company was sentenced to five years in prison Thursday after pleading no contest in August to five felony counts of securities fraud.

Candy Wells, 59, was sentenced by Judge John Trice following a hearing in which victim statements were read to the court and one spoke in person.

Wells will be transferred immediately to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and placed in one of the state’s women’s prisons.

Wells’ husband, Ronald Wells, 63, who earlier pleaded no contest to a felony charge of being an accessory after the fact, was sentenced Thursday to five years of felony probation and three months in County Jail, which he has already served.

Candy Wells operated Heritage Lending, offering "hard money" loans and investments in real estate projects. But in October of 2009, after 10 years in business, she abruptly closed the business she shared with her husband.

The California Department of Corporations, along with the District Attorney's Office, then undertook a three-year investigation that determined that Wells had caused $1.3 million in losses to numerous victims between 2007 and 2009.

Both Candy and Ronald Wells were arrested in March in Oceanside.

Candy Wells also will be ordered to pay full restitution to her victims. The court will address that portion of the case on Dec. 19.

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