INDIANAPOLIS -- An Evansville real estate developer was charged in a federal indictment unsealed Friday with defrauding local lenders of more than $10.8 million in loans financing the River House project in downtown Evansville, including almost $5 million in member business loans he arranged from Centra CU.

Dale Van Natta, 35, was indicted on 10 counts of bank fraud and three counts of wire fraud. Other lenders victimized by the alleged fraud were: Mid-Southern Savings Bank, Monroe Bank, Citizens Bank and MainSource Bank.

The Seymour, Ind., businessman was detained in March after the government filed a criminal complaint in the case after an investigation by the FBI and IRS. He is being held in Henderson, Ky.

Van Natta was involved with his father to use false tax returns and bank statements to obtain the loans between March 2007 and continuing until 2009, according to the indictment.

The indictment says Van Natta used a $3.8 million Central loan to finance the purchase and renovation of the 83-room River House hotel, now called River Walk Plaza Hotel & Suites. Centra foreclosed on the property in 2010, then later bought it back at sheriff’s auction. An Evansville businessman bought the River House from Centra in May for $475,000 and is hoping to renovate the 83-room hotel and return it to its former glory.

Other lenders targeted are: Mid Southern Bank, Monroe Bank and Citizens Bank. The funds were also used to refinance or purchase properties in Seymour, North Vernon, Salem and Fort Wayne, Ind., as well as a hotel in Jamaica, two airplanes and a yacht.

The complaint also charges the 35-year-old Van Natta fraudulently applied for loans to refinance or purchase properties in Seymour, North Vernon, Salem and Fort Wayne, Ind., as well as a hotel in Jamaica, two airplanes and a yacht.

 

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