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Press Release

San Diego man pleads guilty to making a false statement to a federally insured financial institution

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A San Diego man pleaded guilty today to submitting a false draw request on a construction loan from United Bank, announced Acting United States Attorney Carol Casto. Daniel Berg, 60, entered his guilty plea to making a false statement to a financial institution.

Berg admitted that in the summer of 2004, he and another individual formed a real estate development company called Mountain America, LLC, and purchased land near the town of Union in Monroe County to develop a residential community. The development was called Walnut Springs Mountain Reserve. Mountain America operated primarily out of an office located in Lewisburg.

In April 2005, Berg assisted an individual in submitting a construction loan application to United Bank in Fayetteville for the purpose of building a home on a parcel in Walnut Springs Mountain Reserve. On May 13, 2005, United Bank approved the construction loan. Following approval of the loan, Berg admitted that through Mountain America he submitted a false draw request on the construction loan for over $68,000 in reimbursement for purported construction expenses. United Bank approved this draw and deposited the funds into Mountain America’s construction control checking account. On May 19, 2005, Berg wrote a check for over $37,000 from the Mountain America construction control account to another individual. Those funds were used for expenses unrelated to home construction in Walnut Springs Mountain Reserve.

Berg faces up to 30 years in federal prison and a $1 million fine when he is sentenced on November 8, 2016.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI. Assistant United States Attorney Larry R. Ellis is in charge of the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber.

Please note:  The headline above has been corrected from the original version released on July 14, 2016.

Updated February 23, 2017

Financial Fraud