Former Ridgefield man indicted by grand jury
Monday, July 2, 2012
A federal grand jury in Portland indicted a former Ridgefield man Monday on charges of bank fraud, money-laundering and making false statements to a bank, according to a Department of Justice news release.
Sheldon Harmon, 35, was arraigned Monday in Portland and entered a plea of not guilty. He was released and trial set for Sept. 5.
Harmon refinanced commercial real estate property in Vancouver through Umpqua Bank, said the justice department. The loan amount was $3.825 million and Harmon took out cash proceeds of more than $1 million, according to the department. The indictment accuses Harmon of making false representations to Umpqua Bank by submitting false leases to the bank, which indicated that tenants were renting the commercial property when it was, in fact, vacant. The indictment also accuses Harmon of laundering $532,391.98 of loan proceeds through two separate bank accounts.
Bank fraud and false statements to a bank carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years. Money-laundering carries a maximum penalty of 10 years.
The Internal Revenue Service and United States Postal Service investigated the case; Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Kerin is prosecuting.