Oregon loan officer charged in $1.5 million fraud allegations

In the following press release Karin J. Immergut, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon (pictured below), announced a federal indictment was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon charging Kamau Herndon, 37, of Portland, with six counts of wire fraud, one count of mail fraud, three counts of money laundering, and one count of aggravated identity theft in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme.

Agents from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested Herndon on Thursday, February 19, 2009 in Gresham at Mt. Hood Community College on the 11-count indictment. The defendant is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dennis J. Hubel on Friday, February 20, 2009 at 1:30 p.m.

The indictment charges Herndon with submitting three materially false loan applications to purchase homes totalling more than 1.5 million dollars for his girlfriend, including one which was purchased without her knowledge. The indictment charges Herndon, a former loan officer at Lighthouse Financial Group in Vancouver, Washington, with submitting three residential loan applications and related documents which contained false verifications of rental history, false statements regarding the residency intentions of the buyer, and which failed to disclose that the sales price was inflated and in excess of the true sales price, so that a kickback could be given to Herndon. The mail and wire fraud charges carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years for each count and a fine of up to $250,000. Each money laundering charge carries with it a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000. Finally, the single count of aggravated identity theft carries with it a mandatory two-year consecutive term in prison.

[Ed. note the following properties are mentioned in the indictment, click here to read it.

  • 7712 SE 120th Place. Portland, OR
  • 17978 SE Nature Way. Milwaukie, OR
  • 8307 Sierra Drive. Edmonds, WA

A reader informs me that more people are going to be charged, more when available]

U.S. Attorney Karin J. Immergut stated that “Greed drove the brazen conduct in this case. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners have made the investigation and prosecution of mortgage fraud a top priority. We will devote the resources necessary to aggressively pursue those who engage in crime that has had a devastating impact on the economy.”

An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant should be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case is being investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation Division, the United States Postal Inspection Service and the FBI. Assistant U. S. Attorney and Senior Litigation Counsel, Allan M. Garten is prosecuting the case.

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