Portland Resident Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud and Money Laundering in Connection with Real Estate Transactions


Portland, OR, November 14, 2007- Ryan Bonneau, 31, of Portland, pleaded guilty today before United States District Court Judge Michael W. Mosman to wire fraud and money laundering charges in connection with two residential real estate financing transactions. Bonneau was charged along with two others by a federal grand jury in Portland in September, 2006.

The charges followed a federal investigation by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) into allegations that Bonneau, along with Troy Martin, 40, a Portland real estate sales agent, and Leanne Booth, 48, a Portland real estate loan broker, engaged in a scheme to defraud the Union Federal Bank of Indianapolis (UFB) in connection with the mortgage financing of the sale of two residential properties located in northeast Portland. The indictment alleges that in each of the sales, false representations were made to UFB in order to induce UFB to approve mortgage loans and wire transfer funds to title companies in the Portland area.

During the plea hearing, Bonneau admitted that he made up a scheme to defraud UFB and, among other things, inflated the sales price and overstated the qualifications of a borrower on a residential property so that he could secure excess mortgage funds for his own use. UFB approved and funded the requested loans, which resulted in the wire transfer to an Oregon title company of $86,500 in net funds over and above the true sales price. Bonneau admitted that he then caused these funds to be transferred from the title company to an account to which he had access. He further admitted that a false closing document was sent to UFB in order to disguise the nature of this transfer.

Wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, a fine of up to one million dollars and up to five years of supervised release. Money laundering carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $500,000, plus three years supervised release. Sentencing in the matter is set for January 25, 2008.

The cases involving co-defendants Leann Booth and Troy Martin are set for status conferences later this year or in early 2008 to determine if they will go to trial.

United States Attorney Karin J. Immergut praised the investigative efforts of the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in detecting and investigating this complex fraud case.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Caldwell. For additional information, please contact AUSA Caldwell at (503) 727-1000.


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