VANCOUVER — A loan officer convicted of stealing more than $44,000 from homeowners as part of a program to pay off their mortgages today received an exceptional sentence of 68 months incarceration, $70,600 in restitution and a $10,000 fine, Attorney General Rob McKenna announced.
The Financial Crimes Unit of the state Attorney General’s Office brought charges against J. Anthony Hansen, 42, of Tacoma, in August 2005 at the request of the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions.
Hansen was convicted Feb. 13, 2007, in Clark County Superior Court of one count of theft in the first degree, 67 counts of theft in the second degree and one count of money laundering. A jury returned a special verdict designating the case “a major economic offense,” and Judge Roger A. Bennett found that an exceptional sentence was appropriate.
“Anthony Hansen will serve an exceptional sentence for defrauding homeowners in Washington state,” McKenna said. “This case is a result of substantial work by the Attorney General’s Office Financial Crimes Unit and the Department of Financial Institutions.”
Investigation and analysis conducted by AGO Investigator David Cassidy and DFI Financial Legal Examiner Ned Jursek were instrumental in assembling the evidence for a successful prosecution by Assistant Attorney General Rebecca Jacobsen. Levi Clemmens from DFI and Daisy Jacobson from the Attorney General’s Office assisted.
The State reviewed more than 16,000 total pages of materials, and presented 230 trial exhibits and 17 witnesses from all over the state, plus two witnesses from outside of Washington.
According to charging papers, Hansen was an independent contractor with Country Home Finance for 26 months. During this time, he charged 68 customers, on average, $600 for a Mortgage Payment Acceleration Program (MPAP). Hansen used advertising materials obtained from Equity Corp., of Florida, and claimed he would enroll customers in the MPAP. In fact, none of the customers were enrolled.
The case was investigated and prosecuted thanks to a special pool of funds earmarked for mortgage fraud. Washington’s Mortgage Lending Fraud Prosecution Account was created by the Legislature in 2003 to aid prosecutors in bringing mortgage lending fraud cases. Funding is generated through a $1 fee for each recording of a deed of trust.
For More Information:
Scott Kinney, Communications Director, DFI, 360-902-0517
Janelle Guthrie, Communications Director, Attorney General’s Office, 360-586-0725
Deborah Bortner, Director of Consumer Services, DFI, 360-902-8700
Rebecca J. Jacobsen, Assistant Attorney General, 206-389-2012