Sheldon Harmon Charged with Bank Fraud, Money Laundering and False Statements to a Bank
PORTLAND, Ore. - A federal grand jury sitting in Portland, Oregon, returned an indictment against Sheldon Harmon, 35, formerly of Ridgefield, Washington now of St. George, Utah. According to the indictment, Harmon is alleged to have committed bank fraud, money laundering and making false statements to a bank. Harmon was arraigned today in Portland, Oregon before the Honorable Dennis J. Hubel. The defendant entered a plea of not guilty and was released pending a September 5, 2012, trial date.
The indictment alleges that Harmon refinanced commercial real property located in Vancouver, Washington through Umpqua Bank. The loan amount was $3.825 million dollars and Harmon took out cash proceeds of over $1 million. The indictment alleges that Harmon made false representations to Umpqua Bank by submitting false leases to Umpqua Bank indicating that tenants were renting the commercial property, when in fact, they were not. The indictment further alleges that Harmon laundered $532,391.98 of loan proceeds through two separate bank accounts.
"I want to give my personal thanks to the Internal Revenue Service and the United States Postal Service for their outstanding investigations" said United States Attorney Amanda Marshall. "Our office will continue to work with our partners in both state and federal law enforcement to expose and prosecute those who manipulate financial institutions through deception and fraud."
Bank fraud and false statements to a bank carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years. Money laundering, as alleged against Harmon, carries a maximum penalty of 10 years. An indictment is only an allegation of a crime, and all defendants should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
This investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation and the United States Postal Inspection Service. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Kerin.