Silver, bank file claims on investor
Union First Market Bank and a division of the Silver Cos. are among those with claims against a local real estate investor being investigated on complaints of fraud, according to court documents.
Meanwhile an attorney for James Ashby Moncure is asking the community to withhold judgment until all the facts are known and arrangements can be made to repay lenders.
The Fredericksburg Police Department and FBI for the past couple of weeks have been investigating claims that Moncure, a partner in the Quantico Corporate Center in North Stafford, obtained millions of dollars by false pretense from dozens of people and failed to repay the money as promised.
The investigation followed a long email that Moncure, 41, sent to people he owed money and others in the community early on the morning of March 4. The email indicated that Moncure would not be able to repay the promissory notes despite his original good intentions.
Fredericksburg police last week searched a home at 1200 William St. that Moncure has owned since July 2011 and seized financial records and computer hardware. According to the search warrant affidavit, there may be at least 30 individuals who lent Moncure money totaling more than $13 million that “was not used what it was intended for” and was not repaid.
Moncure told individuals that he would use the money to make real estate investments involving the Quantico Corporate Center in North Stafford, according to the affidavit.
Moncure and his two brothers, George and John, are partners in the QCC project between U.S. 1 and Interstate 95 near the Quantico Marine Corps Base.
In 2004, the brothers took ownership of the land from Stafford County in exchange for 180 acres off Widewater Road that is now Patawomeck Park. The Moncures later partnered with the Silver Cos. to develop the QCC into a thriving office park.
Silver Capital, a division of the development firm, this past August lent Moncure $400,000 in the form of a promissory note, according to a financing statement filed this month in Fredericksburg Circuit Court. The loan was to be repaid with proceeds from sales of real estate Moncure owns.
Moncure owns all or parts of 16 different real estate properties, according to that financing statement. Those include two large homes in downtown Fredericksburg, a stake in the Quantico Corporate Center and other properties in Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania County and Clemmons, N.C.
The properties are owned either by Moncure himself or through limited liability companies in which he is involved. Those LLCs include Moncure Valley, Saranna, Quantico Business Center, Quantico Business Center II, Moncure Brothers and Minor Moncure, according to the financing statement.
Also recently filed in Fredericksburg Circuit Court is a record of a roughly $1.9 million judgment Union First Market Bank received last week in Caroline Circuit Court against Moncure. The judgment, which involved four separate cases, also requires Moncure to pay the bank 18 percent interest and costs.
Union spokesman Bill Cimino declined comment on the judgment, citing privacy issues.
The identities of others who have told police that they lent Moncure money and were not repaid have not yet been publicly revealed.
Moncure is represented by attorney Steven T. Webster of the Alexandria-based law firm Webster Book LLP. Webster sent an email to a Free Lance–Star reporter this weekend about the case.
“I have been asked to reach out to his lenders and to make appropriate arrangements to see they are repaid,” Webster wrote in the email. “I am hopeful the community will withhold judgment until we are able to make those arrangements and until all the facts are known. Beyond that, we have no further comment.”
The charge that Moncure is being investigated for—obtaining money by false pretense—is a Class 4 felony punishable in Virginia by up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine. The FBI, which is already involved in the investigation, may soon take over the case.
No charges have been filed.
It’s unclear how the borrowed money was used. In his March 4 email to noteholders, Moncure referenced that he used an Ameritrade account and got overextended. The email also noted the risks of using leverage and the options market.
“Gambling is a disease I can’t beat and my situation just exacerbated that disease,” he wrote. “My weakness was for the market. My misguided solution to debt was the market.”
Numerous people who received the March 4 email contacted authorities to report their concern about Moncure’s well-being. The married father of two was found unharmed in Stafford later that morning.
Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405