Man pleads guilty in mortgage fraud case involving Vancouver firm

Transaction involved Vancouver financial firm

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Updated: January 3, 2011, 6:07 PM

 

An Oregon real estate agent has pleaded guilty to money laundering in connection with a mortgage fraud case involving Vancouver-based Lighthouse Financial Group, which also did business under the name Crown Point Financial Services.

Chael Sonnen, 33, of West Linn, Ore., entered the plea Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland. He will be sentenced March 28. The maximum sentence is 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

According to a news release, Sonnen acted as the real estate agent in a transaction involving a home in Portland, and submitted a false letter and sales agreement instructing the title company to disburse $69,000 to a contractor for plumbing repairs. However, in a deal arranged by Lighthouse employees, $65,000 of the money was actually kicked back to the buyer.

Federal prosecutors allege that two Lighthouse employees, Joel Rosabal and Chadwick Amsden, submitted the false loan application to a now-defunct subprime lender.