Court papers allege shifting of money in Moncure case
A local real estate investor being investigated on complaints of fraud withdrew “large amounts of cash” from several banks the day before sending an email indicating he couldn’t repay numerous personal loans, according to a search warrant affidavit filed Thursday in Fredericksburg Circuit Court.
The affidavit also indicates that $1.286 million was wired from one of James Ashby Moncure’s accounts with Virginia Partners Bank to several other banks between this past Jan. 8 and Jan. 29.
Fredericksburg police produced the affidavit this week to obtain warrants to search eight banks for financial records associated with Moncure and his wife between January 2009 and this past March 14.
The banks were Virginia Partners Bank, Central Pacific Bank, Chase Bank, Union First Market Bank, Stellar One Bank, PNC Bank, Bank of America and BB&T.
“By obtaining copies of Moncure’s bank statements, wire transfers, deposits, etc., your Affiant intends to follow the money trail and ascertain what Moncure actually used the victim’s money for,” reads the affidavit.
Moncure, 41, is a Stafford County native who graduated from North Stafford High School and Mary Washington College.
On March 4, he sent out a long email to people to whom he owed money and others in the community. The email indicated that Moncure would not be able to repay the promissory notes despite his original good intentions.
The day before that email went out, according to the affidavit filed Thursday, Moncure “was driven to several banks and made multiple withdrawals of large amounts of cash.”
Police have also learned that Moncure received a loan for $100,000 just 10 days prior to the email being sent, according to the affidavit. The money was supposed to be used for a land investment near the Quantico Corporate Center development in North Stafford, in which Moncure and his two brothers are partners.
Since the email went out, the Fredericksburg Police Department and FBI have been investigating claims that Moncure obtained millions of dollars by false pretenses from dozens of people and failed to repay the money as promised.
Detective Wayne Hunnicutt, a fraud investigation specialist leading the case for the city police, continues to receive phone calls about more individuals who lent Moncure money.
Last week, police searched a home at 1200 William St. in the city that Moncure has owned since July 2011 and seized financial records and computer hardware.
According to the search warrant affidavit filed at that time, there may be at least 30 individuals who lent Moncure a total of 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 in the area. In addition to being a partner in the Quantico Corporate Center development, Moncure owns all or parts of 16 different properties, most of which are in the area, according to a financing statement filed in Fredericksburg Circuit Court.
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.
Union First Market Bank and a division of the Silver Cos. are among those with claims against Moncure, according to court documents.
Silver Capital, a division of the development firm, this past August lent Moncure $400,000 in the form of a promissory note, according to the financing statement. The loan was to be repaid with proceeds from sales of real estate Moncure owns.
Union First Market Bank recently received a judgment of roughly $1.9 million in Caroline County Circuit Court against Moncure. The judgment, which involved four separate cases, also requires Moncure to pay the bank 18 percent interest and costs.
Moncure is represented by attorney Steven T. Webster of the Alexandria-based law firm Webster Book LLP. Webster said in an email that he has been asked to make “appropriate arrangements” to repay Moncure’s lenders. He asked the community to withhold judgment until all the facts are known.
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 is unclear how the borrowed money was used. In his March 4 email to noteholders, Moncure referenced that he used an Ameritrade account and became overextended. The email also noted the risks of using leverage and the options market.
Numerous people who received the March 4 email contacted authorities to report their concern about Moncure’s well-being. The father of two was found unharmed in Stafford later that morning.
Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405