3 OR men charged with conspiracy to defraud
Thursday, June 23, 2011
BEND, Ore. (AP) -- Three central Oregon men accused by federal prosecutors of misusing more than $44 million of their customers' money have been indicted on fraud conspiracy charges.
Prosecutors say 91 customers lost nearly $14 million.
A grand jury this week indicted Mark Neuman and Lane Lyons, both of Bend, and Timothy Larkin of Redmond. They were three principals of the defunct Summit Accommodators. The U.S. attorney's office says the company was supposed to hold the proceeds from sales of customers' income-producing property while customers purchased other similar property. The arrangement can help customers take advantage of lawful federal income tax deferral rules.
The men are accused of secretly using the money to fund more than 100 real estate deals. The Oregonian says the alleged scheme spun out of control when central Oregon land values began to plunge in 2007.
Carrie Menikoff, a lawyer representing Larkin, says Larkin and Lyons "did everything in their power to prevent the failure of the company." A lawyer representing Newman declined comment.
Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com