Yuma, Arizona February 2, 2012 - "As far as the AEA Trial goes, it's the sensational story in Yuma, that's for sure."
Yuma Real Estate Broker Todd Burch has been in the news lately.
"I was the buyer's agent as a Realtor for [Frank] Ruiz on the purchase of the Kress, on the purchase of the 50 acres near the Tuscan Ranch project," says Burch. "I was working on and also on the house that was bought down in Vista del Valle."
He's also being called to testify in the AEA Fraud Trial.
"I've been called by the prosecution, I've been called by Rhonda Liddle's attorney and also by Bill Liddle's attorney."
Burch had been interviewed by the FBI And was told he wasn't a target in their investigation.
"I think people think there's guilty by association, but what you'll find is with most of the businesses around AEA, we were business owners that were seeking money and seeking funding from AEA," says Burch. "We weren't being approached with 'Hey, do you want to do this deal, do you want to do that deal?'"
Last September, Burch filed a $34 million-dollar lawsuit against AEA.
"I spent the late morning going to the County Courthouse to see my properties go to auction, based on the fact that AEA couldn't run a credit union."
Burch believes AEA's poor management and direction by the top brass hurt many honest local businesses who dealt with the credit union.
"What we find, as business owners, we don't know the regulations that hold them to the fires, as far as what they have to report to the Feds," says Burch. "And if they go beyond that, you know, the Feds have no choice but to shut them down on their loans, which then results in lines of credit for these businesses getting revoked, you know. And then AEA, rather than working with people, just went out and started suing for what was on their lines of credit."
When asked if he believes he'll collect anything from his lawsuit against AEA, Burch, who's worked as a Realtor for nine years, is hopeful.
"There maybe a chance something is left. That's my hope," says Burch. "You work that many years and spend that much time and effort and money on something, you know, you're hoping it works."
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