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Published on Friday April 22, 2011 - 12:05 PM
 
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The Westside Interagency Narcotics team (WIN) today announced the indictment and arrest of a Washington County man for his involvement in a complex bank fraud scheme. Michael Francis Dimeo is charged with two counts of Racketeering and multiple counts of Aggravated Theft and money laundering.

The 31-count indictment today in Washington County Circuit Court accuses Dimeo of fraudulently obtaining a credit line of more than $2 million for his development and construction business, a large portion of which he diverted for personal use and further fraudulent real estate transactions.

A multi-agency investigation established a long-running pattern of racketeering and mortgage fraud beginning before 2006. According to the indictment, Dimeo provided false information to obtain and divert credit from Sterling Savings Bank, and two individual victims who invested over $300,000 in Dimeo's real estate construction business, MJT Custom Homes, LLC. Over two years, Dimeo allegedly diverted between $500,000 to $1 million. In addition to using the proceeds to secure additional loans, Dimeo is alleged to have diverted entrusted funds to buy real estate and for his own personal expenses.

In addition to the indictment, the arrest warrant served today alleges that Dimeo, by and through multiple businesses, and with a group of individuals also under investigation, engaged in racketeering in the form of an extensive mortgage fraud scheme over the last five years.

This morning at about 5:00 a.m., multiple law enforcement organizations simultaneously served 10 search warrants in the State of Oregon and one in the State of Colorado. Those agencies include the Westside Interagency Narcotics team, Washington County Sheriff's Office, Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team, Portland Police Bureau Drug and Vice Division, High Intensity Drug-Trafficking Area Interdiction Team, FBI, DEA, IRS, Oregon Department of Justice, Oregon National Guard and Oregon State Police.

Search warrants were served in Oregon at the following locations:

* 14860 SW Beard Rd., Beaverton * 14940 SW 141st Ave., Portland * 4950 NE Belknap Ct., Suite 215, Hillsboro * 12651 NW Westlawn Ter., Portland * 12669 NW Westlawn Ter., Portland * 5990 SW 185th Ave., Suite F & G, Aloha * 69327 Camp Polk Rd., Sisters * 9 19245 Baker Rd., Bend * 1324 Stonehaven Dr., West Linn * 311 B Ave., Suite B, Lake Oswego

A search warrant was also served at Dimeo's apartment in Boulder, Colorado. Dimeo was taken into custody without incident on an arrest warrant at that time by the Boulder County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators are still processing some of the locations where the warrants were served. As of now, law enforcement personnel have seized records and computers related to the Racketeering charges, 17 firearms, and more than $200,000. An in-compliance medical marijuana grow was located at one of the search warrant locations. However investigators found evidence that 30-year-old Robert E. Baylor III, who is responsible for the grow site was distributing the marijuana illegally and in violation of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) rules. Investigators seized 45 marijuana plants from the house. Baylor's 13-year-old sister, who lives at the house, was taken into protective custody.

Investigators found five pit bulls and a four-foot alligator in Baylor's home. The dogs were taken by Washington County Animal Control, and the alligator was taken by a local reptile rescue group.

One search warrant was served at Mr. Baylor's business, the Aloha Indoor Hydroponic Garden & Lights store located at 5990 SW 185th Ave, Suite F&G in Aloha. Evidence was seized from the business, but there were no additional arrests made at the store.

The investigation is still ongoing. The total number and types of evidence seized is not available at this time.

A criminal defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Due to the complexity of this case, the extent of damages caused by Dimeo's alleged financial fraud could be much greater and may have caused additional losses to banks or individual victims.