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Bend Couple Charged with $4.4 Million Investment Scheme Pleads Guilty

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 16, 2013

Eugene, Ore. - Late Tuesday, January 15, 2013, Tamara Sawyer, 49, and Kevin Sawyer, 60, of Bend, Oregon, pled guilty. Mr. Sawyer pled guilty to Count 14 of a 21-count indictment for making false statements to a financial institution. Ms. Sawyer pled guilty to all 21 counts including conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, making a false statement to a financial institution, money laundering. They agreed to forfeiture of certain assets and to pay full restitution to the victims of the fraud scheme.

Defendant Kevin Sawyer, a former Bend Police Captain, admitted to lying to a bank to obtain a mortgage. He intentionally misrepresented assets, liabilities, and the source of the down payment. Defendant Tamara Sawyer, a former licensed real estate broker in Bend, Oregon, admitted to lying to investors to obtain their money. She enticed investors by falsely promising high rates of return, typically 12 percent, and secured the investments with promissory notes. Rather than investing the money as promised, she used it to fund their other companies and ventures and to pay personal expenses, including cars, credit cards, and the construction of their vacation home in Mexico. Additionally, as the scheme progressed and investors began to demand a return on their investment, she used new investor money to pay older investors. Defendant Tamara Sawyer caused investors to lose more than $4.4 million.

Sentencing is set for April 30, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. before Chief U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken at the federal courthouse in Eugene, Oregon.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Scott E. Bradford and Amy E. Potter.

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