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Ex-owner of Arizona Market Place arrested
Daniel Dinwiddie, former owner of Arizona Market Place, was arrested at his home Friday afternoon on felony charges of fraudulent schemes and theft.
Police said Dinwiddie illegally obtained about $90,000 from multiple victims.
Detectives and officers with the Yuma Police Department arrived at Dinwiddie's home in the 2700 block of South Marion Avenue at about 3:30 p.m. and arrested him at about 5 p.m. He was booked into the Yuma County Detention Center.
YPD began investigating Dinwiddie's business practices in April and allegedly uncovered evidence the 51-year-old had been accepting rent or deposits from vendors at Arizona Market Place for the upcoming season although he had already moved to close the business.
Dinwiddie became sole owner of Arizona Market Place, 3351 S. Avenue 4E, in November 2009 after winning a lengthy lawsuit over the swap meet and buying out partners Najah Edais and Brad Holcom.
In July 2010 Dinwiddie filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after his property had been scheduled to be sold in a trustee sale at Yuma's Chicago Title Insurance Co. A trustee sale notice published in the Yuma Sun that month listed 1st Bank Yuma as the beneficiary, with an original principal balance of $2.2 million.
Last month on April 13, a security guard posted at the entrance of Arizona Market Place said he was there to keep people out, in particular the owner.
Dinwiddie had sparked controversy weeks earlier when a message calling for a boycott of Dr. Mark Awar and Dr. Aleix Bazzi, referring to the two local physicians as “quacks,” had been posted on the Arizona Market Place sign.
Awars Properties, whose members are Socrate Awar and Awars Limited LLC, of which Dr. Awar is a member, had purchased the bank note on Arizona Market Place in January 2010. Dr. Bazzi provided some of the financing for the purchase.
After being served a restraining order to take down the message, Dinwiddie put up a new message on the marquee encouraging a recall of Yuma Mayor Al Krieger. By the evening of April 13, that sign was gone as well.
In an article previously published in the Yuma Sun, Dinwiddie said he was calling for the mayor's recall because he believed Krieger was behind what Dinwiddie considered to be obstructionist activity by the city against his business.
Dinwiddie further alleged Krieger's involvement was as a favor for a campaign contribution to local businessman Ron Martin, who was a board member of the bank that foreclosed on Arizona Market Place. Both Krieger and Martin denied any wrongdoing.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Yuma Police Detective Eric Fell at 373-4700, or 78-Crime to remain anonymous.