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PRESS RELEASE


CPA Dupes Countrywide

Suspended Certified Public Accountant Pleads Guilty to Charges Related to a Mortgage Fraud Scheme Which Netted him Hundreds Of Thousands of Dollars - False Income Tax Returns Submitted as Income Verification for Loans on Salem and Lake Oswego Properties


PORTLAND, Ore. (Jan. 27, 2010) -- Morton Daniel Bohn, 69, of Tigard, Oregon, pled guilty on January 26, 2010, in U. S. District Court to bank fraud and money laundering. In March 2009, a twelve count indictment was returned by a federal grand jury, alleging bank fraud, false statements on loan applications and money laundering. Bohn, who was arrested by IRS agents subsequent to the indictment, agreed to pay restitution in the approximate amount of $288,171. Sentencing is set for April 6, 2010.

According to the indictment, Bohn, a former Certified Public Accountant whose license has been suspended by the Oregon Board of Accountancy, engaged in a scheme to defraud Countrywide Financial Corporation (“Countrywide”) of money between November 2003 and January 2004. As part of this scheme, Bohn applied for a mortgage from Countrywide to refinance the home loan for his Lake Oswego, Oregon residence. Bohn stated to his mortgage broker on Uniform Residential Loan Applications that his monthly gross income was $5,845 when he knew it was well below that amount. Bohn fabricated and submitted fraudulent individual income tax returns to his mortgage broker that reported adjusted gross income (“AGI”) of $69,892 in 2001 and $77,012 in 2002. However, the actual tax returns that Bohn previously filed with the IRS for those same years reported only $11,940 and $7,556 respectively in AGI. As a result of Bohn’s fraud, Countrywide advanced $283,200 to him for the refinance.

Also according to the indictment, Bohn engaged in a similar scheme to defraud Silver Falls Bank of money between October 2006 and April 2007. As part of this scheme, Bohn applied for a construction loan from Silver Falls Bank to build a home in Salem, Oregon. Bohn reported to Silver Falls Bank on a Uniform Residential Loan Application that his monthly gross income was $18,500 when he knew it was well below that amount. Bohn used his financial expertise as an accountant to defraud Silver Falls Bank by fabricating and submitting fraudulent individual income tax returns to that bank, which reported AGI of $70,889 in 2005 and $137,220 in 2006. However, the tax returns that Bohn previously filed with the IRS reported only $26,778 and $91,681 in AGI for those same years. As a result of Bohn’s fraud, Silver Falls Bank advanced him at least $288,171, and actually approved him for a $480,000 loan. Bohn defaulted on the construction loan.

“We will continue to seek criminal sanctions for mortgage fraud whenever it arises, particularly when professionals are involved,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Kent S. Robinson. "CPAs are at the top of the list of people who clearly know better than to prepare and submit false income tax returns for any reason," said Teri Alexander, the IRS Assistant Special Agent in Charge of Oregon. “This includes submitting them to financial institutions to further a mortgage fraud scheme.”

Bank fraud carries a maximum sentence of up to 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine. Money laundering of this nature carries a maximum sentence of up to ten years in prison and a fine of not more than twice the amount of the criminally derived property involved in the transaction.

This investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig J. Gabriel.


SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice


 
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