COOLIDGE — An ex-real estate agent in Coolidge who was charged on 32 federal counts last week also has a $350,000 court judgment against her and her husband.
Sarah Nicole Kelley was charged with 32 counts of wire fraud and money laundering by a federal grand jury Sept. 24.
Kelley was a real estate agent and owner of Canyon Construction of Coolidge. She is accused by the grand jury 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 told PinalCentral over the weekend that she is no longer a real estate agent and has resigned from Canyon Construction.
In another case, Kelley and her husband, Brian, reportedly asked a California woman to invest in six houses in Coolidge, Casa Grande and Toltec between June and August 2018. The woman sued the Kelleys on 12 different counts in Pinal County Superior Court and won a judgment of more than $350,000 against them.
“Defendant Sarah Kelley informed Plaintiff that Plaintiff owned and/or co-owned these properties but, under further investigation, Plaintiff never owned these properties,” the woman’s court complaint reads. Sarah Kelly lost the case against her in Pinal County civil court and the investor got a judgment against her and her husband in August 2018.
The woman attempted to garnish bank accounts belonging to the Kelleys in June but was only able to capture $273.
On July 18, Pinal County Superior Court Judge Stephen McCarville issued a civil arrest warrant for Brian Kelley. As of Monday, he was still wanted on that arrest warrant, according to court records.
A “civil arrest warrant” is a court order in a noncriminal matter, directed to any peace officer in the state, to arrest the individual named in the order and to bring such person before the issuing court.
In a telephone interview with PinalCentral on Saturday, Sarah Kelley said, “I’m not a real estate agent in Pinal County. I haven’t been for a year. I also resigned from Canyon Construction about a month or so ago. I don’t have any ownership in that. If you could do the best and respect my kids, I would appreciate it during this time. It is pretty hard for everybody.”
Kelley said the first story printed Saturday morning wasn’t fair because she is going to federal court on Oct. 9.
“I have been up all night, and I wish you would have waited until you would have seen the October 9th date because some of that case is going to get retracted. I hope you write a good story after that when everything gets canceled,” she said.
“An indictment is an accusation — at the end of the day. They’re saying they have the intent to file those charges. But they still have an opportunity not to file the charges. One, I knew the lady for my entire life. I knew of her inheritance since it happened, the year prior to that. I knew a lot of things that this article is publishing that I haven’t done. There is a lot of missing holes in this story,” Kelley said.
She said federal prosecutors are being unfair in their charges.
“If you look at the 24 counts the indictment portrays, those are Facebook messages. Each one of them is a message. I sent you a message, actually I sent you two I think, that’s two counts technically,” she said Saturday morning.
“I’m just a regular person and a stay-at-home mom in Pinal County. I don’t work. I haven’t worked in a year — almost a year-and-a-half actually. Let’s make sure that is truthful there. I’m not an agent and could you not publish the reason why I’m not an agent because that is a whole other story. If you want to know the truth, I’ll provide you with the documents in that case if you’re going to publish that. I’m asking you respectfully not to. Just remove the real estate agent from my name,” Kelley said.