Jim McConville has written a check to settle a lawsuit that names him and several individuals for whom he arranged mortgages at a development in the California city of Ridgecrest, according to an attorney representing two of the co-defendants on the suit.

The suit claims that McConville and several of the buyers in a 300-unit condo project in the Kern County town concealed the fact that they were obtaining other loans at the same time, and that they acted in conspiracy to provide false information to the lender.

The suit, filed by Najarian Loans, which lent at least 30 mortgages to McConville’s buyers in the project, claims the company had no idea the buyers were taking out numerous loans from different lenders at once.

In a court hearing this morning, Najarian’s attorney informed the judge that McConville has written a check to settle the case on his behalf of himself and that of the other co-defendants, according to Edward F. Cullen, who is representing Jack Thomas and Mariam Rasuli, two of the Ridgecrest buyers named as co-defendants in the suit.

The next meeting in the case has been pushed to June 10 while the attorneys determine whether McConville’s check will clear. It hadn’t cleared as of this morning, Cullen said.

If the check clears, the suit is settled. But if the check doesn’t clear, the attorneys for Najarian will attempt to serve the remaining four of the 14 co-defendants whom the lender has been unable to serve. David Harris, attorney for Najarian, did not return calls for comment.

This is a new development since our recent story on the Ridgecrest lawsuits:

Najarian settled with (initial plaintiff) SunTrust and the terms are confidential, but the company continues to seek damages from McConville and the buyers. Harris said McConville acted like he was willing to settle the matter last year. Now, that doesn’t appear likely.

“He’s more or less disappeared, so we’ve had to restart those efforts,” Harris said.

Thomas, one of the defendants, worked for McConville for several years, renovating and maintaining units around the state. He said in an interview with voiceofsandiego.org that he allowed McConville to use his identity to get loans on seven properties in Ridgecrest.

When Thomas was served with the Najarian lawsuit last year, he said McConville told him he’d take care of it. Since then, Thomas has fallen out of touch with his former boss.

With today’s news, it appears McConville has again struck up the settlement talks with Najarian. Cullen said the news that McConville was trying to settle this suit was encouraging.

“It is refreshingly surprising, because you wouldn’t expect it under these circumstances,” Cullen said.

For more on our special investigation into the havoc wrought by McConville in Escondido and San Marcos and around the state, visit the home page for A Staggering Swindle.


Kelly Bennett is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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