Portland — A federal grand jury indicted longtime Portland housing developer Roger Pollock on bank fraud charges Friday.
Federal prosecutors urged that Pollock remain in detention, alleging he’s threatened multiple witnesses with “death or violence.”
Pollock was accused of defrauding Banner Bank through his company, Pollock Commercial Holdings LLC. Prosecutors also charged him with two counts of making false statements to banks.
Pollock appeared Friday in U.S. District Court and pleaded not guilty. He was to remain in custody over the weekend as U.S. Magistrate Dennis Hubel postponed a detention hearing until today.
Banner Bank agreed in 2008 to loan more than $5 million for Pollock’s big office project in the heart of downtown Lake Oswego. The bank also agreed to extend Pollock a line of credit for up to $2.46 million.
The building was to become the headquarters of Pollock’s company, Buena Vista Custom Homes.
Buena Vista guaranteed the debt.
Prosecutors allege Pollock made “material misrepresentations” about progress on construction at the Lake Oswego project and then diverted more than $700,000 in construction loan proceeds to a resort project in Mexico.
Prosecutors are asking the court to keep Pollock in custody, citing the threats he’s allegedly made to witnesses and his extensive foreign travel and connections in Mexico.
“In this case, the defendant is both a flight risk and a danger to the community,” assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Kerin argued in a document filed Friday.
Pollock’s Buena Vista was a major player in residential development, including development in Vancouver. He aggressively built many of the homes in Happy Valley that later made the east-side community a hotbed of foreclosure.
Pollock’s timing at first seemed golden when he dropped out of the housing game before the economic crash hit Oregon.
But he left in his wake a number of angry creditors.