FLORENCE — A Coolidge woman who has been indicted on 32 counts of money laundering and wire fraud has been named as a defendant in another lawsuit.

Sarah Kelley appeared in federal court Oct. 9 on the charges and also about $600,000 in court judgments and pending lawsuits against her and her husband.

Her jury trial is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. May 5 in Courtroom 505 the at Sandra Day O’Connor Courthouse, 401 W. Washington St. in Phoenix, before U.S. District Judge John J. Tuchi.

Kelley was a real estate agent and owner of Canyon Construction of Coolidge. She was indicted by a grand jury on a charge of swindling another woman out of $185,000 and using that money to pay off her own real estate investment instead of starting a new project with the investor.

It was later learned that she neither applied for building permits for the property nor purchased the vacant lot in Coolidge for the investor.

Kelley is no longer a licensed real estate sales agent.

In December, representatives of Bright Investments LLC filed a lawsuit against Kelley and her husband, Brian, seeking the Superior Court to break an investment partnership the partnership has with the Kelleys.

The Kelleys are considered to be the principals of a company known as Mountain Land in the partnership agreement, according to court records.

The motivation behind breaking the agreement includes that the plaintiff found “numerous civil judgments entered against Kelley individually and as a member of various entities in connection with various real estate transactions. This flurry of legal activity gave plaintiff immediate cause for concern about the purported venture/partnership with Kelley,” a lawyer for Bright Investments wrote in an initial complaint filed in Pinal County Superior Court.

The complaint also includes Kelley’s federal indictment for wire fraud and money laundering as one of many points of concern that should allow for the dissolution of the partnership.

The purpose of the partnership, according to the complaint, is purchasing real estate for profit. Together they purchased property referred to as the Franklin Road Property.

According to the complaint, the property is owned by the Kelleys and Bright Investments. Kelley was supposed to develop, market and sell the property.

“Upon information and belief, (Sarah) Kelley, has never marketed nor attempted to sell the property, nor has any accounting been done for the venture by Kelley,” the complaint reads.

Bright Investments proposed eight different solutions in the original complaint to dissolve the partnership.

In a brief filed Tuesday, the Kelleys, through attorney David Williams of Tempe, allege that they have not breached the terms of the contract between them and that Bright Investments is even barred from this court action due to the statute of limitations.

Their answer to the complaint states that any possible damages to Bright Investments were done by the hand of a third party.

Both sides await a decision in the case from Pinal County Superior Court Judge Robert Olsen.


Jim Headley is a reporter covering breaking news, crime and justice around Pinal County. He can be reached at jheadley@pinalcentral.com.

E-Edition Newsletters