Z-Bowl owner indicted

FBI inquiry leads to bank fraud, forgery charges

Staff WriterJune 11, 2011 

A Raleigh real-estate executive who last year opened the Z-Bowl family entertainment center in downtown Mebane has been indicted by a federal grand jury for fraudulently obtaining a $2 million bank loan.

Roger Van Santvoord Camp, 67, is accused of filing falsified documents and forged signatures to obtain a $2 million loan from Raleigh-based Capital Bank that he needed to convert space in a strip mall into a bowling-themed entertainment center.

The indictment, which stems from an FBI investigation, accuses Camp of one count of bank fraud and five counts of filing false statements in connection with his loan application. Each count carries a maximum penalty of 30 years imprisonment.

Raleigh lawyer David Venable, who represents Camp, declined to comment.

Before starting Z-Bowl, which remains open, Camp was best known as the head of Piedmont Center Investments, a Raleigh firm that manages shopping centers. The Mebane site for Z-Bowl, which includes a bar, a restaurant and private party rooms, was chosen in part because Piedmont Center Investments owned the building.

Camp told The News & Observer in a 2009 interview that opening the Z-Bowl entertainment center would cost $6 million to $7 million, and that he planned to pay for most of it himself given the prevailing tight credit environment. He also talked about the Mebane center being the first of a franchise if it succeeded.

"I'm sort of an entrepreneurial guy," he said. "There's sort of an itch."

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Camp didn't have enough cash for the extensive renovations and initially sought financing from a friend who had been his partner in other business ventures. But the friend declined to invest in or finance the project.

Camp then submitted falsified documents to Capital Bank that purported to show that the friend - who in the indictment is identified only by the initials "T.B." - had agreed to be a guarantor who would pay off a loan if Camp should default.

In reality, T.B. never agreed to be guarantor and neither prepared the financial statement listing assets and liabilities nor signed the documents submitted to Capital, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

Those false documents induced Capital Bank to make the loan, the indictment states.

Grant Yarber, Capital's market president for North Carolina, said the bank doesn't comment on pending legal cases.

Camp initially was represented by a court-appointed public defender, but that appointment was rescinded by federal magistrate William A. Webb after Camp submitted a financial statement listing an income of $250,000 and millions of dollars in assets.

david.ranii@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4877

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