The Master Bilkers

How a Valley development scheme ripped off investors, contractors and homeowners while bank, building and bar officials watched

Other contractors--the ones who performed work on homes that were never sold--weren't so lucky. According to claims filed against Orians' subdivisions in bankruptcy court, contractors lost as much as $600,000 at Los Portones. For the other three subdivisions, the total is well over $500,000.

On a recent evening, Anton leads the way to her back porch and points to the view that so captivated her she was willing to fork out an extra $5,000 in upgrade money. When she saw it two years ago, it took in a narrow wash, behind which rose low, rolling bluffs studded with mesquite and saguaros--the perfect place to take in a desert sunrise, or relax on warm evenings and take in the stars.

It won't stay that way for long, though. The City of Scottsdale has big plans for the strip of land running along the wash's far bank.

Soon, Sharon Anton will have a breathtaking view of a major four-lane thoroughfare.

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