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Feds charge Palm Harbor man with wire fraud

TAMPA — A Palm Harbor man accused of stealing at least $3 million using an array of forged legal documents has been arrested by federal law enforcement authorities.

A U.S. Secret Service agent said in a recently unsealed arrest affidavit that sufficient probable cause existed to detain Marc G. Allen, 49, on a criminal charge of wire fraud. A criminal complaint will eventually follow that may include additional charges.

Allen is free on $50,000 bail, his attorney, Todd Foster, confirmed on Friday.

The affidavit by Secret Service Agent M. Anthony Magos said a Tampa law firm called the agency last year to report that Allen defrauded its client, Bloomfield Institutional Opportunity Fund.

According to the affidavit:

Bloomfield provided a $3 million loan on March 5, 2010, to Allen Investment Properties secured by a mortgage on 141 units at the Palm Harbor condominium complex, Harbourtowne at Countrywoods, which were owned by Allen's father, William Allen. A $5 million letter of credit from East West Bancorp also was provided by Marc Allen to secure the loan.

Attorneys soon discovered that Marc Allen had filed a wide array of faked documents to support the Bloomfield loan, including a satisfaction of mortgage on the condos from another lender and the letter of credit.

William Allen told authorities he had nothing to do with his son's activities and did not know about the Bloomfield loan. The father has said he is in danger of losing a $9 million investment in Harbourtowne because of his son's activities.

The property has since been tied up in foreclosure proceedings.

The father, a California resident who is in ill health, said in an interview earlier this year that he bought the Harbourtowne units in 2006. He said he later learned that his son had filed a faked power of attorney that enabled the fraudulent activities that followed.

Marc Allen also had received a $1.9 million loan from a second lender that the father said he never authorized.

William R. Levesque can be reached at levesque@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3432.

Feds charge Palm Harbor man with wire fraud 03/18/11 [Last modified: Friday, March 18, 2011 9:45pm]
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