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Utah real estate agent gets 6 months in jail over waterless subdivision

Published September 3, 2016 7:55 pm

Courts • Both sides disparage role of developer Richard Wolper, who was not charged.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A state judge on Friday sentenced a former real estate agent to six months in jail over her dealings in a Saratoga Springs subdivision where lot buyers were kept from building by the lack of water.

But rippling through the sentencing hearing for Kimberly Bowen was the name of Fox Hollow developer Richard Wolper, who an attorney said was responsible for the water ills yet never faced charges himself.

A jury convicted Bowen in January of five charges of communications fraud and one of engaging in a pattern of unlawful activity, all second-degree felonies.



Third District Judge Randall Skanchy gave Bowen a suspended prison sentence of 1 to 15 years, but ordered her to spend 180 days in jail, as part of a 36-month probation, with a hearing to be held later to fix an amount of restitution.

Bowen told Skanchy she regretted what had happened but she blamed Wolper for the troubles at Fox Hollow and state investigator Rex Ashdown for what she claimed was a bungled investigation.

"I am sorry for what happened," Bowen said. "I'm sorry for a lot of reasons. I'm sorry for a lot of people, but nothing I did was done in malicious way to get money from anyone. In fact it was just the opposite."

Assistant Utah Attorney General Che Arguello asked for a prison sentence "because I don't think she understands or acknowledges what she's done is wrong."

But Arguello also seemed to acknowledge that the state had been remiss in not investigating Wolper. Arguello said he wanted to sit down with a former prosecutor on the case "and ask why this guy was not charged."

Bowen's defense attorney, Christopher Bown, also pointed a finger at Wolper, saying he had engaged in the same conduct Bowen was convicted of.

"She got convicted and he's free," Bown said.

Bowen was accused of failing to tell buyers of Fox Hollow lots back in 2007 and 2008 that there was no water to the lots and they couldn't get building permits. But she and others said Wolper had misled them and that city officials had broken their own policies when they allowed the developer to plat the subdivision and start selling lots.

The case against Bowen was filed in 2009.

tharvey@sltrib.com

 

 

 

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