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Dan Heine and Diana Yates, former executives at the Bank of Oswego in Lake Oswego, Oregon, were sentenced today to one count each of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and twelve counts each of falsifying bank entries, reports, and transactions

Dan Heine, a co-founder of the bank, was president, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and member of the board of directors from September 2004 through September 2014. Diana Yates was executive vice president, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), and secretary of the board of directors from 2004 through March 2012. During the conspiracy Heine and Yates concealed the true financial condition of the bank to regulators and the board of directors by falsely reporting that the bank had title to a property in a straw buyer transaction, falsely reporting that delinquent loans were paid, and falsely reporting the sale of bank owned property. http://www.mortgagefraudblog.com/oregon-bank-officers-indicted/#more-22161

Heine and Yates were sentenced to 24 and 18 months in prison, respectively.

Dan Heine and Diane Yates orchestrated one of the largest and most complex bank fraud schemes in Oregon’s history. Their selfish acts of greed are deplorable,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. “While we urged the court to impose longer sentences, these sentences still serve as a warning to bank executives and others entrusted with fiduciary responsibilities. We will continue to work with federal investigators to protect investors and ensure the trustworthiness of our financial institutions.”

For centuries, the American banking system has served as the bedrock of the U.S. economy. Honest bankers are critical to our financial system. By addressing lies and conspiracies at the Bank of Oswego, the FBI and Department of Justice have helped re-establish the integrity of the financial system we all rely on,” said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon

A forfeiture and restitution hearing has been scheduled for August 7, 2018. The case was investigated by the FBI and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Office of Inspector General (FDIC-OIG) and prosecuted by Claire Fay, Quinn Harrington, and Michelle Kerin, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.

 

On May 18, 2018,  Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit against Kirkland and Portland, Oregon based Real Estate Investment Network, LLC (REIN), a company accused of scamming foreclosed homeowners out of equity in the form of surplus funds from the foreclosure sale to halt its deceptive practices while the state’s lawsuit progresses. REIN had been charging up to 67 percent of surplus funds it recovers for homeowners following a foreclosure sale. These fees amounted to tens of thousands of dollars for each homeowner.

With the real estate market booming, foreclosure sales can bring in more money than is owed on the mortgage. Homeowners can often recover these “surplus funds” through a relatively simple process with the court.

REIN approached foreclosed homeowners soon after the foreclosure sale, before they receive notice that surplus funds are available.

REIN’ misrepresented  the process for recovering surplus funds, telling consumers the process could take up to a year and will be near impossible without their help. REIN then offered to help the consumer recover the funds in exchange for a fee, but presented documentation giving REIN all the rights to the surplus funds. Although REIN returned a percentage of the recovered surplus funds to the consumer, REIN’s cut often exceeded 50 percent of the total recovery and was sometimes as high as 67 percent.

REIN omitted any information about the amount of surplus funds available, which can exceed $100,000. In one instance, the foreclosure sale led to $134,000 in surplus funds, and under the terms of its contract, REIN would recover around $90,000 for its services. In another case, REIN’s contract allowed it to recover about $88,000 of more than $141,000 in surplus funds.

My office is a watchdog for homeowners facing foreclosure,” Ferguson said. “I will hold companies that prey on homeowners facing foreclosure accountable.”

Judge Catherine Moore, a King County Superior Court judge granted an agreed order for a preliminary injunction, which, among other restrictions, prevents REIN from collecting more than the 5 percent allowed by law.

The order prevents REIN from:

  • Making misrepresentations or material omissions to consumers about surplus funds;
  • Charging homeowners more than 5 percent of recovered surplus funds plus reasonable costs not to exceed $225; and
  • Failing to disclose all the information REIN knows about a consumer’s foreclosed property, including the foreclosure sale price, liens on the property and the amount of recoverable surplus funds.

One victim told KING 5 news that when he learned the true amount of the surplus funds available, he thought, “We were getting scammed. Totally.”

Geoffrey S. Walsh, a former vice president of the Bank of Oswego, Lake Oswego, Oregon, was sentenced today to 30 months in federal prison followed by a three-year term of supervised release. Walsh had previously pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to make false entries in bank records, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and wire fraud on July 22, 2015.

Facts Related to Conspiracy to Make False Entries in Bank Records Conviction

From January 2009 to May 2012, Walsh served as the Bank of Oswego’s Vice President and Director of Mortgage Services and later as its Vice President of Business Development and Lending Services. As an institution insured and regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the bank was required to submit quarterly call reports detailing the financial condition of the bank.

From 2009 through 2010, the bank was in second position on a mortgage secured by real property located on A Avenue, Lake Oswego, Oregon. The borrower’s failure to make timely payments and her deteriorating financial condition were discussed weekly by Walsh and other members of the bank’s Internal Loan Committee (ILC), including the CEO, Dan Heine and CFO, Diana Yates. In October 2010, the first mortgagee declared the borrower in default and foreclosed on the property. In order to avoid a loss of nearly $100,000 and avoid reporting the loss to the FDIC and the board of directors, Walsh, Heine and Yates formulated a plan to acquire and sell the property to recover the remaining balance on the loan. Walsh was put in charge of obtaining the property for the bank.

Walsh initially attempted to purchase the property directly from Fannie Mae, but was told it could only be sold to an individual who planned to occupy the property, and could not be sold to an institution until the property had been on the market for 15 days. On behalf of the bank, Walsh arranged for another bank employee to serve as a straw buyer, purchasing the property in the employee’s name. To accomplish this, Walsh, Heine and Yates agreed to and submitted false information to Fannie Mae about the true buyer, the source of the funds to purchase the property and the buyer’s intent to remain in the home as an occupant. Records of the sale were purposefully not maintained by Walsh, Heine and Yates in order to conceal the transaction from the bank’s board of directors and the FDIC.

On November 28, 2017, a federal jury found Heine and Yates guilty of a conspiracy to deceive the bank’s board of directors, shareholders and regulators as well as 12 counts of making false entries in the bank’s records to the FDIC and the board of directors. The verdict was based, in part, on the A Avenue transaction. Heine and Yates will be sentenced on March 5, 2018. http://www.mortgagefraudblog.com/?s=Bank+of+Oswego

Facts Related to Conspiracy to Commit Mail and Wire Fraud Conviction

According to court documents, Walsh worked with his brother Gregory Walsh, a former Vice President at Morgan Stanley, to persuade an Arizona woman into loaning him more than $764,000 for a real estate investment scheme. The woman, a recent widow and client of Greg Walsh’s, was told the money would be used to purchase two condominiums in the Palm Springs, California area that would be titled in her name and sold within one year.

Contrary to the promises made, Walsh titled each of the properties in the name of his business and never provided any loan or title documentation to his investor. Between May and July 2012, he sold the properties without the knowledge or permission of his investor and used the proceeds to satisfy personal financial obligations.

In January 2013, Walsh contacted his brother to gauge the same investor’s interest in loaning him an additional $2 million for a real estate development project in Oregon. Greg Walsh transferred the money from the investor’s Morgan Stanley account to his brother without the investor’s knowledge or approval. On March 5, 2013, the majority of these funds – over $1.7 million – were used to pay the balance of a line of credit at the bank. Walsh spent the remainder of the funds.

Greg Walsh has also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud for these same transactions. His will be sentenced on February 6, 2018.

Facts Related to Wire Fraud Conviction

In May 2012, Walsh secured a commercial loan for $500,000 from an Oregon resident, using the first two Palm Springs, California properties as collateral. In securing the loan, he failed to disclose that the properties were already pledged as security for loans he had obtained from the Arizona investor and that he was already in negotiations to sell one of the properties. Soon after receiving the loan, Walsh sold both properties and used the proceeds for his own benefit.

Between November 2012 and July 2013, the Oregon resident was repeatedly in contact with Walsh in an attempt to obtain repayment. Walsh assured his lender that he would repay the loan in full with interest. In May 2013, the lender met with the FBI to discuss Walsh’s default on the loan. Walsh made a partial repayment of $300,000 after the lender met with the FBI.

Geoff Walsh intentionally and repeatedly perpetrated large financial crimes that cheated individual investors and deceived bank regulators and the Bank of Oswego’s Board of Directors,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. “He achieved this largely while retaining a position of trust as a bank executive. The imposition of this sentence demonstrates that stealing from investors and lying to regulators about a bank’s financial condition are grave matters and subject to felony charges and a prison sentence. Today’s sentencing is many years’ in the making and a testament to the hard work and persistence of federal law enforcement.”

Today’s sentencing helps to shed light on the sophisticated world of complex financial fraud at a bank where certain executives were more committed to their personal interests than those of their customers,” said Steve Goldman, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “Geoff Walsh’s deal-making during these long-running schemes damaged the bank itself and hurt the friends and clients who had entrusted him with their money.”

This case was investigated by the FBI and the FDIC Office of Inspector General (OIG-FDIC) and prosecuted by Claire M. Fay, Michelle Holman Kerin, and Quinn P. Harrington, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.

Former real estate developer Roger Pollock pleads guilty to bank fraud

Real estate developer and Lake Oswego resident Roger Pollock agreed to a plea deal last week in connection with federal bank fraud charges relating to a loan he obtained for the construction of an office building on A Avenue.

Pollock, 54, is best known as the owner of the now-defunct Buena Vista Homes, whose projects included 141 houses built in Happy Valley. The fraud charges relate to a loan Pollock obtained for construction of an office building at 412 A Ave that was never built.

Shannon Egeland, a former Bend, Oregon, real estate developer who pled guilty to mortgage fraud, was sentenced on January 29, 2014, to 120 months in prison.  Egeland was to begin serving his sentence on August 1, 2014, by 2 pm.  However, just prior to surrendering, Egeland was shot.

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Five defendants, including a real estate developer, a loan officer, a mortgage broker, and an escrow officer, have been sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken for a variety of mortgage and loan fraud charges arising out of the collapse of Desert Sun Development (DSD), a company previously headquartered in Bend, Oregon.

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Six borrowers were sentenced in Oregon by U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken for their roles in a large-scale mortgage fraud scheme.

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Peter Wilkinson, Eugene, Oregon, was sentenced on September 3, 2013, for his role in a mortgage fraud scheme involving the submission of false and misleading loan packages to lenders.

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Jeffrey Sprague, 50, Bend, Oregon, appeared before Chief U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make false statements to a financial institution, to commit wire fraud, and to commit bank fraud. The charge arose out of the collapse of Desert Sun Development (DSD), a development and construction company in Bend, Oregon.

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Geoffrey Montani, 36, and Kenneth Jones, 50, both of Portland, Oregon, were sentenced to 15 months in prison in separate hearings following their convictions for wire fraud in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme.

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