A former Bend real estate agent and her husband have entered guilty pleas in a federal fraud case after a judge rejected their planned defense just as their trial was about to begin.
The pleas entered Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Eugene by Tami and Kevin Sawyer resolved a case in which federal prosecutors alleged the Sawyers promised high rates of return to investors but instead spent millions on personal expenses.
KTVZ-TV reports that Tami Sawyer entered modified guilty pleas to all 21 charges against her. Kevin Sawyer is a former Bend police lieutenant. He pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to a financial institution.
Judge Ann Aiken set sentencing for April 30.
Tami Sawyer’s lawyer Marc Blackman contended that because the couple had the ability to repay investors with other assets, they didn’t really commit the crimes charged. The judge sided with the prosecution, saying that defense was not relevant and wouldn’t be allowed.