Former Bend Area Developer Pleads Guilty to $20 Million Bank Fraud
Cases Relate to the Collapse of Desert Sun Development in Bend, Oregon
Eugene, Ore. - Tyler Fitzsimons, 33, appeared before U.S. District Judge Michael R. Hogan on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 and pleaded guilty to a variety of mortgage and loan fraud charges arising out of the collapse of his company, Desert Sun Development (DSD), including conspiracy, bank fraud, and money laundering. From 2004 through 2008, DSD, a company previously headquartered in Bend, Oregon, built commercial structures and residential housing throughout Central Oregon. According to the indictments, DSD principals and other defendants caused financial institutions to lose more than $19 million.
According to court documents, Fitzsimons and others knowingly submitted fraudulent documents, including false financial statements, to various banks in order to obtain financing to develop and construct many of DSD's commercial projects. Once the loans were approved, Fitzsimons and others submitted additional false documents, including fictitious contracts and invoices, to the banks to obtain loan proceeds for construction costs that were claimed to be associated with the fraudulent documents. Often, no construction had occurred.
Fitzsimons also developed a real estate flipping scheme at DSD. In court records, Fitzsimons admitted, among other things, to undermining the loan approval process for individuals participating in the scheme by "seasoning" or falsely inflating their bank accounts through temporary deposits or undisclosed, short-term loans and by submitting other fictitious documents, including letters explaining employment, large or recent deposits, and bonuses, to the banks funding the loans.
Defendants Shannon Egeland, Jeremy Kendall, Robert Brink, Teresa Ausbrooks, Michael Wilson, and Del Barber, Jr., who are charged in these and related cases previously pleaded guilty and are pending sentencing.
Conspiracy to commit bank fraud carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Bank fraud carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, and money laundering carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is set before U.S. District Court Judge Michael R. Hogan on October 09, 2012, at 10 a.m.
These cases were investigated by the FBI, IRS-Criminal Investigations, and the Oregon Division of Finance and Corporate Securities. Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott E. Bradford handled the prosecution of the cases.