Spokane Man Sentenced to Thirty Months’ Prison and Five Years’ Court Supervision for Bank and Wire Fraud Conspiracy
Spokane – Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Ashley Bonair Chambers, age 58, of Spokane, Washington, was sentenced after having been convicted after a four-day jury trial in December 2014 of one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud affecting a financial institution, seven counts of wire fraud, and one count of wire fraud affecting a financial institution. United States District Court Chief Judge Rosanna Malouf Peterson sentenced Chambers to a 30-month term of imprisonment and a 5-year term of court supervision following release from federal prison. The Court also ordered Chambers to pay $379,143 in restitution to the financial institution victims. The Court ordered Chambers to report immediately to the U.S. Marshal Service to be taken into custody at the conclusion of the sentencing hearing.
According to information disclosed during court proceedings, Ashley Bonair Chambers conspired with another individual in a loan "kiting" scheme by fraudulently obtaining several share secured loans and a construction loan from financial institutions. Chambers and a conspirator submitted several loan applications to financial institutions that were materially false and fraudulent because the applications reported inflated amounts of monthly income. Chambers and his conspirator used some of the loan proceeds as collateral to obtain additional loans. Chambers and his conspirator also submitted an application in the conspirator’s name that contained materially false information to obtain an $880,000 construction loan. Chambers and his conspirator intended to use the ill-gotten proceeds to build a house with a helipad in Nine Mile Falls, Washington. According to information disclosed during court proceedings, the construction loan application was false because it reported the conspirator’s monthly income as $48,000 when the conspirator’s monthly income was approximately $1,500. As part of the scheme, Chambers and his conspirator fabricated and submitted a bogus $185,000 document entitled "Earnest Money Payment Receipt Balloon Payment." By doing so, Chambers and his conspirator misled the financial institution into believing they had invested $185,000 into the home construction project. Among other things, Chambers and his conspirator used a portion of the loan proceeds to purchase a bobcat tractor and a truck. Chambers and his conspirator ultimately obtained approximately $379,143 from the financial institutions as a result of the fraudulent scheme.
Michael C. Ormsby said, "The sentence imposed in this case reflects the seriousness of ‘white collar’ crime and that those accused of defrauding banks will be fairly and justly held accountable for their criminal conduct. This case is yet another example of the commitment of the United States Attorney’s Office to prosecute aggressively fraud cases in the Eastern District of Washington. The U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General’s Criminal Investigation Division is commended for its tireless efforts in thoroughly investigating this case."
"When borrowers submit false information, the underwriting process is defeated and the taxpayers bear the loss," said Inspector General Peggy E. Gustafson of the Small Business Administration. "I want to thank the U.S. Attorney's Office for its dedicated leadership and professionalism in pursuit of justice served today."
The investigation was conducted by the Office of the Inspector General’s Criminal Investigation Division of the United States Small Business Administration. The case was prosecuted by George J.C. Jacobs, III, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.