Portland man sentenced to 30 months in mortgage fraud scheme
Apr 09,2008 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources

PORTLAND, Ore. – After considering over three hours of testimony and legal arguments, Judge Michael Mosman on Tuesday sentenced Ryan Bonneau, 31, of Portland, to 30 months in prison for his role in a mortgage fraud scheme involving two residential real estate transactions in 2004. He will serve a period of five years supervised release after completion of his prison term.

Bonneau was indicted in 2006 along with Leann Booth, 49, a Portland real estate loan broker, and Troy Martin, 42, a Portland real estate sales agent. Charges included wire fraud, false statements to a Federally Insured Bank, money laundering, and engaging in prohibited financial transactions.

Bonneau pled guilty to wire fraud and money laundering in November, 2007. He admitted that he, along with Booth and Martin, devised a scheme to defraud the Union Federal Bank of Indianapolis by making false statements in mortgage loan applications in connection with transactions involving two properties, one co-owned by Booth and Martin and one in which Martin was part owner.

In each transaction the sales price of the home was inflated so that the Bonneau could apply for a larger mortgage and divert the extra cash to bank accounts he controlled. Bonneau also admitted submitting a false appraisal on each property. At the closing of the property transactions, false closing statements were signed which concealed the fact that the extra cash was being diverted. The bank funded the mortgage loans in reliance on these statements.

During the time he was committing this fraud, Bonneau was on federal supervised release following a 2003 conviction for bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. He was arrested in June 2006 for violating his supervised release conditions, and indicted on these new charges in September 2006. In May 2007, Bonneau admitted violating supervised release and received nine months in prison. He remained in custody prior to entering his plea and being sentenced.

Leann Booth has admitted that she participated in this scheme with respect to one of the properties. She details her role in a Statement of Responsibility which is attached to this release. She is currently serving an 18 month period of Pretrial Diversion pursuant to an agreement with the government and approved by the U.S. District Court in Portland. Pursuant to the agreement, Booth has forfeited $38,187, her share of the profit from the property transaction to the government. She also must serve a period of 45 days house arrest, perform 200 hours of community service, prepare a written report and make presentations of one hour or more on the subject of detection and prevention of mortgage fraud to professional organizations. If she successfully completes the diversion program she will not be prosecuted on any charges.

Troy Martin has also admitted his participation in this scheme with respect to both properties. Martin is also currently serving an 18 month period of Pretrial Diversion pursuant to an agreement with the government and approved by the U.S. District Court in Portland. Pursuant to his agreement, Martin has forfeited $63,187, his share of the profit from the property transactions to the government. He will also serve a period of 45 days house arrest, perform 200 hours of community service, prepare a written report and make presentations of one hour or more on the subject of detection and prevention of mortgage fraud to professional organizations. If he successfully completes the diversion program he will not be prosecuted on any charges.

These prosecutions stemmed from a federal investigation by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) into allegations of mortgage fraud.