Fraud case against hard money lending couple proceeds toward trial

A husband and wife charged with fraud will proceed toward a trial in a case that involved “hard money” loans and investments in real estate projects.

After a 3-day preliminary hearing, Candy Wells, 58, and Ricky Wells, 63, were held to answer on all charges Thursday afternoon, meaning the District Attorney’s Office can proceed toward a trial.

Candy Wells is the former president of Heritage Lending in Paso Robles. After she abruptly closed the business in October of 2009, the California Department of Corporations undertook a 3-year investigation. The county also investigated.

The couple was arrested in Southern California in March and charged with crimes committed between 2007 and 2009.

The charges allege that the couple engaged in fraudulent practices in the offer and sale of securities involving hard money loans in real estate projects. They allegedly caused more than $1.3 million in losses to numerous victims.

Their next pre-trial hearing is set for May 2.