Sentencing for former Washougal official postponed

Jeffrey Bivens faces 5 years

By Marissa Harshman, Columbian health reporter

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photoFormer Washougal finance director, city councilman and tax attorney

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Jeffrey Bivens’ federal court sentencing has been postponed for four months.

The former Washougal finance director, city councilman and licensed tax attorney pleaded guilty to making materially false statements to the Small Business Administration and Wachovia Bank in October 2010.

He was scheduled to be sentenced for the crime on May 23.

On May 11, Bivens’ attorney requested a postponement, which a U.S. District Court judge in Tacoma granted. Bivens’ attorney cited a personal health matter as the reason for the request, said Emily Langlie, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Bivens is now scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle at 11 a.m. Sept. 26.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Bivens’ faces five years in prison and shares a portion of the $1.7 million loss associated with the bank and SBA loan.

Bivens represented the owner of a Longview-based disaster restoration company, Charles Prescott Restoration Inc. He assisted in the sale of the company in May 2007 and in obtaining a related loan. Bivens provided Wachovia Bank with an inaccurate sale price of the business. As a result, the bank agreed to a loan of $2 million, which was guaranteed by the SBA, to the purchaser, according to court documents.

Bivens failed to disclose information to the bank and SBA, and he helped engineer a secret second closing, which he and others concealed from the bank.

In January, Bivens filed a permanent resignation from the Washington State Bar Association in lieu of disbarment. Accompanying the resignation was a $1,000 check to the state bar association to pay for expenses and costs.

Marissa Harshman: 360-735-4546 or marissa.harshman@columbian.com.