Former Paso Robles lenders charged with fraud

Rodney Virgil Jarmin, 72, was arrested on suspicion of defrauding clients of at least $2 million.
Rodney Virgil Jarmin, 72, was arrested on suspicion of defrauding clients of at least $2 million.

The operators of a Paso Robles-based hard money lending business have been charged criminally with defrauding dozens of clients of at least $2 million.

Rodney Virgil Jarmin, 72, and Tammy Marian Jordan, 49, who owned the company Real Property Lenders, have been charged with seven felony counts involving misrepresentations in the sales of securities, said Steven Von Dohlen, the deputy district attorney handling the case.

Jarmin pleaded not guilty to the allegations Thursday in San Luis Obispo Superior Court and remains in custody in County Jail in lieu of $5 million bail.

Jordan is awaiting an extradition hearing after being arrested and booked in jail in Bozeman, Mont., Von Dohlen said.

Jarmin and Jordan’s business acted like a middle man between investors, who were promised annual 12 percent interest payments on money they put up as loans for developers in real estate projects.

Von Dohlen said that Real Property Lenders’ misrepresentations included failure to notify new investors that they’d stopped paying dividends on past investors’ loans. They also failed to notify new investors that the borrowers (developers) had defaulted on those loans.

Von Dohlen said investigators are still looking into how much money was lost, which could exceed $2 million.

The prosecutor said dozens of investors fell victim to the schemes, but that the exact number can’t be determined because the case is developing.

Von Dohlen said he didn’t think Jordan and Jarmin were using money to live a lavish lifestyle — but they made illegal financial promises they couldn’t deliver on.

He said they promised more money for projects to developers than they could deliver in some instances.

Ilan Funke-Bilu, the attorney representing Jarmin, declined to comment Tuesday.

Jarmin is scheduled for a pre-preliminary hearing Thursday in Judge Michael Duffy’s courtroom. Jordan faces an extradition in the next week to 10 days, Von Dohlen said.

If convicted, Jarmin and Jordan each face a maximum prison sentence of 17 years.