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Portmann bank fraud trial delayed again

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on May 8, 2012 at 11:59 am |
May 8, 2012 11:59 am

The fraud trial of a former Pierce Commercial Bank senior vice president and three co-defendants has been delayed until November.

The case against Shawn L. Portmann, Sonja L. Lightfoot, Jeanette R. Salsi and Adam S. Voelker in U.S. District court will begin Nov. 6 in federal district court instead of next Tuesday.

The trial postponment is the second since Portmann and his co-defendants were indicted.

Defense lawyers asked for the trial delay because of the case’s complexity and the need to study the voluminous documents involved in the case.

The federal government accused Portmann and the co-defendants of submitting false documents regarding borrowers’ qualifications and about homes they sought to buy in order to cause the bank to fund more than $45 million worth of loans.

More than 100 of the 270 loans involved in the alleged fraud defaulted. Portmann and his team of loan officers were among the highest-producing bankers in the country. Portmann himself generated 100 to 120 new loans a month. A typical loan officer might produce 10 to 15 home loan originations a month.

Pierce Commercial was closed by bank regulators in 2010. Some $6.8 million from the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program lent to the bank by the federal government was never repaid.

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