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News Releases
Former Fugitive Wanted in Oregon for Real Estate Scam Pleads Guilty - 01/27/23

SAN DIEGO—On January 26, 2023, a California man who evaded federal authorities for more than two decades after being convicted at trial and who was wanted in District of Oregon for perpetrating a real estate scam while a fugitive pleaded guilty in San Diego.

Robin James McPherson, a former resident of San Diego, pleaded guilty to failing to appear, willfully attempting to evade income taxes, and wire fraud, resolving three separate pending criminal cases.

According to court documents, in December 2000, McPherson and two co-conspirators were found guilty at trial in the Southern District of California of conspiring to defraud the IRS and tax evasion. Prior to being sentenced in March 2001, McPherson fled the U.S.

In early August 2019, special agents from FBI’s office in Eugene, Oregon began investigating McPherson after several individuals reported being the victims of a Costa Rican real estate fraud scheme with ties to the Eugene area. McPherson used a variety of marketing techniques, including cold calls, promotional websites, and Facebook advertisements, to find potential investors for an alleged Costa Rican real estate development opportunity called the Carara Parque Resort Corporation. After victims showed interest in the faux investment opportunity, McPherson would conduct sales calls, from Costa Rica, to explain the project.

McPherson directed victims to wire investment funds to a bank account in Oregon and then had the funds transferred to a bank account he controlled in Costa Rica. Between December 2015 and August 2019, approximately $1.2 million dollars were transmitted to the Oregon bank account. McPherson used many different excuses to explain to his investors why no resort villas had been constructed. He did not disclose to his investors that their contracts had not been honored and no villas were slated for construction. McPherson used his investors’ funds to pay for various personal expenses including his own mortgage.

On October 22, 2020, McPherson was charged by criminal complaint in the District of Oregon with wire fraud and money laundering. In May 2022, he was apprehended in Costa Rica and returned to San Diego.

Today, McPherson waived indictment and venue and pleaded guilty to wire fraud, a charge pending in the District of Oregon. He also pleaded guilty to failing to appear and willfully attempting to evade income taxes, charges pending in the Southern District of California. On April 28, 2023, McPherson will be sentenced in San Diego on all three charges of conviction.

Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison. Tax evasion and failure to appear are each punishable by up to five years in federal prison. All three charges also carry maximum fines of up to $250,000 or twice a defendant’s gross gains or losses and three years’ supervised release.

This case was investigated by the FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation. It was prosecuted in the District of Oregon by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gavin W. Bruce.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release
Drug and Gun Seizure
Drug and Gun Seizure
Honduran Man Arrested in Portland Trafficking Rainbow Fentanyl and Firearms Charged in Federal Court (Photo) - 01/25/23

PORTLAND, Ore.—A Honduran man residing in Portland is facing federal charges after he was arrested moving two kilograms of rainbow-colored fentanyl and several firearms between two Portland-area motels.

Jose Isidro Zuniga Torres, 47, has been charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to possess and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl.

According to court documents, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and Tigard Police Department are engaged in an ongoing investigation into the suspected trafficking of illegal narcotics from Mexico for distribution and sale in Oregon and Washington state. To date, law enforcement officials have charged or arrested eight individuals with connections to an international drug trafficking organization and seized more than five kilograms of powdered fentanyl, four and a half kilograms of heroin, three kilograms each of cocaine and crystal methamphetamine, 45,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl, and 12 firearms.

As part of this investigation, on January 23, 2023, investigators were surveilling a motel in Portland when they observed two men, one later identified as Zuniga, exit a room carrying multiple boxes. The two men loaded the boxes and several additional bags into a vehicle and began driving toward another area motel. The investigators followed the vehicle and observed the two men unload the boxes and bags into a room at the second motel.

The next day, on January 24, 2023, investigators executed a federal search warrant on the second motel room. After making entry into the room, Zuniga was arrested without incident. Investigators located and seized more than 2 kilograms of hard, rainbow-colored fentanyl packaged for distribution, 417 grams of counterfeit oxycodone pills (M30s) containing fentanyl, 393 grams of crystal methamphetamine, 49 grams of cocaine, and eight firearms. 

Zuniga admitted to possessing most of the drugs found in the motel room. He further told investigators the firearms were to be shipped to Honduras and were wrapped in tinfoil and clothing to avoid detection by law enforcement.

Zuniga made his first appearance in federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jolie A. Russo. He was ordered detained pending further court proceedings.

This case is being investigated by the DEA, HSI, and Tigard Police Department. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.

A criminal complaint is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Attached Media Files: Drug and Gun Seizure
Willamette Valley Grass Seed Company Pleads Guilty and is Sentenced in Scheme to Defraud Simplot - 01/25/23

PORTLAND, Ore.—On January 24, 2023, a Willamette Valley grass seed marketing and distribution company pleaded guilty and was sentenced in federal court for its role in a scheme to defraud the J.R. Simplot Company and its former subsidiary the Jacklin Seed Company.

Ground Zero Seeds Int’l, Inc. (GZI) pleaded guilty to one count of misprision of felony and was sentenced to one year of probation. The Yamhill, Oregon company was also ordered to pay a $40,000 fine and $516,000 in restitution to Simplot.

According to court documents, GZI and its president, founder, and owner, Gregory McCarthy, maintained longstanding commercial relations with the Jacklin Seed Company, a subsidiary of Simplot based in Liberty Lake, Washington. GZI and McCarthy routinely contracted with Jacklin for the purchase and sale of grass seed. These contracts were typically negotiated with Richard Dunham, a former Jacklin employee who oversaw the company’s order-fulfillment and warehousing operations in Oregon and had the authority to purchase grass seed from certain Oregon growers over others.

Beginning in April 2015, McCarthy and Dunham agreed that GZI would pay Dunham a per pound kickback for grass seed purchased by Jacklin. These kickbacks were built into the prices reflected on GZI’s invoices to Jacklin. Dunham artificially inflated the price Jacklin paid GZI for seed or reduced the price at which Jacklin sold seed to GZI. To help conceal the scheme from Jacklin, Dunham registered a separate business entity through which he purported to offer consulting and grass seed brokering services. Dunham used the company and a checking account in the company’s name to accept kickbacks from GZI, McCarthy, and others.

Between April 2015 and September 2019, McCarthy caused GZI to pay Dunham approximately $191,790.

Prior to GZI pleading guilty and being sentenced, a one-count superseding criminal information was filed charging the company with misprision of felony.

On April 29, 2022, Dunham was charged by criminal information with two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and on July 7, 2022, he pleaded guilty to both charges. Dunham will be sentenced on June 21, 2023.

This case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General. It was prosecuted by Ryan W. Bounds, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release
Company Operating Aluminum Processing Facility in The Dalles Pleads Guilty to Clean Air Act Violations - 01/25/23

PORTLAND, Ore.—On January 24, 2023, an Illinois-based company that operates an aluminum processing facility in The Dalles, Oregon, pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Air Act by negligently releasing a hazardous air pollutant from its facility, endangering employees and nearby community members.

Hydro Extrusion USA (Hydro), a limited liability corporation based in Rosemont, Illinois, pleaded guilty to negligent endangerment by discharging a hazardous pollutant.

“No cost savings or competitive advantage are worth the risk posed to the health and safety of Hydro’s workers or members of the community,” said Ethan Knight, Chief of the Economic Crimes Unit for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “We will continue working closely with our partners at the EPA to ensure all businesses play by the rules.”

“By illegally melting contaminated scrap metal, the defendant knowingly and unlawfully violated environmental regulations and in doing so exposed their workers and the local community to hazardous air pollutants,” said Special Agent in Charge Scot Adair of the Environmental Protection Agency’s criminal investigation program in Oregon. “EPA, along with its state partners, are committed to holding companies accountable when they endanger the health of their employees and local communities.”

According to court documents, Hydro operates a secondary aluminum processing facility in The Dalles where it melts aluminum scrap in induction furnaces to produce reusable aluminum billets. While operating, air emissions from the company’s furnaces were open to the interior of the building and did not pass through any pollution control devices before reaching employees or being vented to ambient air.

Under the Clean Air Act, secondary aluminum production facilities are only permitted to use “clean charge,” aluminum scrap free of paints, coatings or lubricants. Despite this requirement, from July 2018 through June 2019, Hydro acquired and melted scrap aluminum coated in a mineral-oil based mixture that, when combusted, produced hazardous smoke. Hydro saved approximately $466,000 purchasing the unclean charge. During this time, Hydro employees noticed excessive smoke in the facility. Despite being notified by inspectors from EPA and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (Oregon DEQ), Hydro continued melting the unclean charge.

On August 23, 2022, after fully cooperating with the government’s investigation of this matter and agreeing to plead guilty, Hydro was charged by federal criminal information with one count of negligent endangerment.

Negligent endangerment under the Clean Air Act is punishable by a fine of up to $200,000 or twice the gross gains or losses resulting from the offense. As part of its plea agreement, Hydro has agreed to pay $550,125 prior to sentencing. The company will be sentenced on April 24, 2023, by U.S. District Court Judge Michael W. Mosman.

This case was investigated by the EPA Criminal Investigation Division (EPA-CID) with assistance from Oregon DEQ. It is being prosecuted by Ryan W. Bounds, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release
Former Beaverton Mayor Sentenced to Federal Prison for Possessing Child Pornography - 01/24/23

PORTLAND, Ore.—Dennis “Denny” Doyle, the former mayor of Beaverton, Oregon, was sentenced to federal prison today for illegally possessing child pornography.

Doyle, 74, a Beaverton resident, was sentenced to six months in federal prison and five years’ supervised release. Doyle was also ordered to pay $22,000 in restitution to his victims.

According to court documents, in late January 2022, the Beaverton Police Department was notified by a local business that a USB thumb drive containing possible child pornography had been found. The business provided the thumb drive to law enforcement, and it was determined that did indeed contain child pornography. Additionally, the drive contained personal photographs that appeared to belong to Doyle. Law enforcement also determined the images of child pornography were downloaded onto the thumb drive between November 2014 and December 2015, while Doyle was serving as the Beaverton mayor.

After the Beaverton Police Department referred the case to the FBI, special agents from FBI Portland’s Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF) contacted Doyle at his home. Doyle was immediately truthful with the agents, admitting the drive was his and that he had personally downloaded child pornography from his home computer. No further evidence of child pornography was located on Doyle’s digital devices.

On March 3, 2022, Doyle was charged by criminal information with one count of possession of child pornography and, on October 11, 2022, pleaded guilty to the single charge.

This case was investigated by FBI Portland’s CETF with assistance from the Beaverton Police Department. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon. 

Anyone who has information about the physical or online exploitation of children are encouraged to call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.

Federal law defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor. Child sexual abuse material depicts actual crimes being committed against children. Not only do these images and videos document victims’ exploitation and abuse, but when shared across the internet, child victims suffer re-victimization each time the image of their abuse is viewed. To learn more, please visit the NCMEC’s website at www.missingkids.org.

FBI Portland’s CETF conducts sexual exploitation investigations, many of them undercover, in coordination with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. CETF is committed to locating and arresting those who prey on children as well as recovering and assisting victims of sex trafficking and child exploitation.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Justice Department to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release
Arizona Woman Caught Trafficking Fentanyl and Heroin on Interstate 5 Charged in Federal Court - 01/19/23

PORTLAND, Ore.—An Arizona woman is facing federal charges after she was caught trafficking approximately 45,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl and several additional pounds of bulk heroin on Interstate 5 near Salem, Oregon.

Nancy Garcia, 47, of Yuma County, Arizona, has been charged by criminal complaint with possessing with intent to distribute fentanyl and heroin.

According to court documents, on January 16, 2023, an Oregon State Police (OSP) trooper initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle being driven by Garcia northbound on Interstate 5 near Salem. The trooper identified Garcia as the sole occupant of the vehicle and observed that she was traveling with a statue of Santa Muerte, a saint-like figure some individuals believe offers protection in drug trafficking.

Garcia first told the trooper she was traveling to Seattle, but later said she was traveling to and planning to spend a week in Portland. The trooper lawfully searched Garcia’s vehicle and found more than 10 pounds of counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl and five and half pounds of bulk heroin in a bag on the floor behind the driver’s seat. The trooper placed Garcia under arrest and transported the drugs to a law enforcement lab for further evaluation.

On January 18, 2023, Garcia made her first appearance in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Youlee Yim You. She was ordered detained pending further court proceedings.

This case is being investigated jointly by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and OSP. It is being prosecuted by Paul T. Maloney, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

A criminal complaint is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release
Federal Law Enforcement Partners Commemorate National Human Trafficking Awareness Day--January 11, 2023 - 01/11/23

PORTLAND, Ore.—Today, federal law enforcement partners from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon, FBI Portland Field Office, and Homeland Security Investigations Seattle Field Office join to commemorate National Human Trafficking Awareness Day and reaffirm their commitment to combating all forms of human trafficking.

“Human trafficking devastates families and communities and preys on the most vulnerable members of our society. As a federal prosecutor, I’ve seen the extraordinary suffering survivors have endured and the incredible strength, courage, and resolve they demonstrate as they rebuild their lives. Today is a day we honor these survivors,” said Natalie Wight, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

“Due to the I-5 corridor, human trafficking remains a huge problem throughout the state of Oregon and sadly, our Violent Crime Squad and Child Exploitation Task Force have some of the busiest investigators in the FBI's Portland office. Traffickers often lure vulnerable victims with promises of a better life and then use violence and manipulation as a means to control,” said, Kieran L. Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Portland Field Office. “The FBI, along with our law enforcement partners, is working every day to protect those victims who are being exploited from further abuse. Help us help them. If you have information about human trafficking or child exploitation, please contact law enforcement immediately.” 

“Our nation is one that places a high value on opportunity, and through our many partnerships we can ensure that those opportunities are not poisoned by criminals who utilize slavery as cruel means to a harmful end,” said Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Robert Hammer, who oversees HSI operations in the Pacific Northwest. “HSI continues to fight human trafficking regardless of the form it takes, and will use our expertise in investigating transnational crime to prevent the exploitation of people through forced labor, domestic servitude, or sex trafficking.”

Human trafficking, sometimes referred to as trafficking in persons or modern slavery, is a serious federal crime involving the exploitation of individuals for labor, services, or commercial sex through force, fraud, or coercion. This coercion can be subtle or overt, physical or psychological. Exploitation of a minor for commercial sex is human trafficking, regardless of whether any form of force, fraud, or coercion was used.

Victims of human trafficking can be anyone regardless of race, color, national origin, disability, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, education level, or citizenship status. Although there is no defining characteristic that all human trafficking victims share, traffickers around the world frequently prey on individuals who are poor, vulnerable, living in unsafe or unstable environments, or are in search of a better life.

In the U.S., trafficking victims can be American or foreign citizens. Some of the most vulnerable populations for trafficking in the U.S. include American Indian and Alaska Native communities, LGBTQ individuals, individuals with disabilities, undocumented migrants, runaway and homeless youth, temporary guest-workers, and low-income individuals.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon is committed to continuing its victim-centered, trauma-informed approach to detecting hidden human trafficking crimes, holding perpetrators accountable, and helping to restore the lives of survivors, while strengthening strategic anti-trafficking partnerships.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911.

If you believe you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking or may have information about a trafficking situation, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll-free at 1-888-373-7888 or visit https://humantraffickinghotline.org. You can also text the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 233733.

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Every year since 2010, the President has dedicated the month to raising awareness about the different forms of human trafficking and educating people about this crime and how to spot it. To learn more, visit https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2022/12/30/a-proclamation-on-national-human-trafficking-prevention-month-2023/.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release
Douglas County Man Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison for Manufacturing Illegal Short-Barreled Rifle and Selling Drugs - 01/10/23

EUGENE, Ore.—A Douglas County, Oregon man was sentenced to federal prison today for manufacturing and selling an illegal short-barreled rife and selling several ounces of methamphetamine.

Gregory Wayne Ferguson, 46, was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison and 4 years’ supervised release.

According to court documents, in January 2021, law enforcement learned that Ferguson had claimed to manufacture “ghost guns,” do-it-yourself firearms made from readily-available materials and components untraceable by law enforcement. Ferguson further claimed to have manufactured a short-barreled rifle that could be made into a fully-automatic weapon. In late January 2021, Ferguson test-fired the unmarked, short-barreled rifle with a prospective buyer and then sold it for $1,500. One week later, Ferguson sold 110 grams of methamphetamine to the same individual.

On March 15, 2021, Ferguson was charged by criminal complaint with illegally possessing a firearm made in violation of the National Firearms Act and distributing methamphetamine. Ferguson was arrested the next day. On September 21, 2022, he pleaded guilty to both charges.

Today’s sentencing resolves Ferguson’s federal criminal case and is expected to resolve several pending felony cases in Douglas County Circuit Court.

This case was investigated by ATF with assistance from the Douglas Interagency Narcotics Team, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police. It was prosecuted by Jeffrey S. Sweet, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, in partnership with Chief Deputy District Attorney Allison Eichmann of the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Formed in October 1989, the Douglas Interagency Narcotics Team is a special investigative unit formed to combat illegal narcotics activity in Douglas County. DINT member agencies include Douglas County, including the Douglas County Sheriff and District Attorney’s Offices, the Oregon National Guard, Oregon State Police, and Roseburg Police Department.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release
Portland Man with 18 Prior Felony Convictions Sentenced to Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing a Firearm - 01/10/23

PORTLAND, Ore.—On January 9, 2023, a Portland man with a criminal history spanning decades was sentenced to federal prison after he was arrested for discharging a firearm into the air outside a local restaurant during an altercation with his girlfriend.

Tyrone Lamont Allen, 53, was sentenced to 77 months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release.

According to court documents, on November 9, 2021, officers from the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) responded to a disturbance and reports of shots fired near a restaurant and bar in southeast Portland. Witnesses reported Allen, who was on post-prison supervision for committing multiple bank robberies, and his girlfriend were involved in an altercation inside the restaurant that escalated as the couple moved outside. When the woman threatened to call 911, Allen fired a single shot from a handgun into the air and drove off. Responding officers viewed surveillance footage of the incident and observed Allen arguing with and hitting his girlfriend. The video also showed Allen’s girlfriend hiding behind vehicles in the restaurant’s parking lot while he drove around looking for her.

While conducting their investigation, officers observed Allen drive by the restaurant. The officers quickly stopped his vehicle and detained him. Allen admitted to the officers that he “got a little hot” in his altercation with his girlfriend, but denied firing or possessing a firearm. Officers found a .38 caliber revolver with five spent casings in the cylinder underneath the driver’s seat of Allen’s vehicle. Allen claimed the firearm belonged to his girlfriend.

On October 3, 2022, Allen was charged by criminal information with illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. On October 12, 2022, he pleaded guilty to the single charge.

This case was investigated by the FBI and PPB. It was prosecuted by Parakram Singh, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release
Former Portland Attorney Sentenced to More Than Eight Years in Federal Prison for Embezzling Client Funds - 01/09/23

PORTLAND, Ore.—A former Portland attorney was sentenced to federal prison today for defrauding more than one hundred clients out of millions of dollars in insurance proceeds and using the stolen money to bankroll a lavish lifestyle.

Lori E. Deveny, 57, was sentenced to 101 months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release. Deveny was also ordered to pay more than $4.5 million in restitution to her victims.

“It’s hard to overstate the extraordinary impact Ms. Deveny’s crimes had on the many innocent and vulnerable victims who trusted her. As a former attorney, she had a special responsibility to her clients and to the public, but she repeatedly abused this trust and prioritized her own needs. This is a just sentence for serious crimes,” said Ethan Knight, Chief of the Economic Crimes Unit for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“The cruelest thing of all is knowingly providing false hope. Having already suffered losses, Ms. Deveny’s clients deserved an attorney who represented their best interests. What they got instead was someone who inflicted more loss,” said Special Agent in Charge Bret Kressin, IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Seattle Field Office. “Today, Ms. Deveny is receiving what she never provided her clients: a picture of reality that those who choose to defraud will face the consequences of their actions.”

“While serving as an attorney, Ms. Deveny brazenly stole money that should have gone to pay for health care for her clients for serious injuries and ailments. Instead, that money funded things like big game hunting trips to Africa and home remodeling. She took advantage of people who were physically and emotionally hurting by forging insurance checks, stealing the funds and lying to her clients about the payouts,” said Kieran L. Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Portland Field Office. “These actions not only got her disbarred but are now putting her behind bars. The FBI applauds our partners at IRS-CI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, as we continue to bring to justice those who commit this kind of unconscionable financial fraud that harms the people in our shared community.”

According to court documents, between April 2011 and May 2019, Deveny used manipulation and deceit to systematically defraud at least 135 clients out of more than $3.8 million in insurance proceeds she held in trust on their behalf. To accomplish her scheme, Deveny stole her clients’ identities, forged insurance checks made payable to them, deposited client funds into her personal bank accounts, and continually lulled clients into a false sense of hope that they would receive compensation for their injuries. Many of Deveny’s victims were particularly vulnerable to her criminal behavior after sustaining serious brain and bodily injuries and never received the insurance payouts they were owed.

The Oregon State Bar Client Security Fund (CSF), Wells Fargo Bank, and the IRS also suffered losses as a result of Deveny’s scheme. The CSF made partial restitution payments to some of Deveny’s clients, resulting in a loss of more than $1.2 million. This is one of the largest losses in the Oregon State Bar’s history and resulted in the organization raising dues for all members for two years to cover the cost of the payments. Wells Fargo Bank lost more than $52,000 because Deveny stole and forged a check and the IRS sustained a tax loss of more than $621,000 when Deveny failed to report the money she stole from her clients on her personal income tax returns.

All told, Deveny’s crimes resulted in total losses to all victims of more than $4.5 million.

Deveny used the proceeds of her scheme to pay more than $150,000 on foreign and domestic airline tickets, more than $173,000 on African safari and big game hunting trips, $35,000 on taxidermy expenses, $125,000 on home renovations, $195,000 in mortgage payments, more than $220,000 in cigars and related expenses, $58,000 on pet boarding and veterinary costs, $41,000 on recreational vehicle expenses, $50,000 for a Cadillac luxury vehicle, and $60,000 on stays at a luxury nudist resort in Palm Springs, California.

On May 7, 2019, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a 24-count indictment charging Deveny with mail, bank, and wire fraud; aggravated identity theft; money laundering; and filing a false tax return. 

On June 27, 2022, she pleaded guilty to one count each of mail, wire, and bank fraud; money laundering; and filing a false tax return; and two counts of aggravated identity theft.

This case was investigated by IRS-CI and the FBI with assistance from the Portland Police Bureau. It was prosecuted by Claire M. Fay, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release
Central California Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Abducting and Sexually Abusing an Oregon Minor He Met Online - 01/05/23

EUGENE, Ore.—A Mariposa, California man was sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison today after he abducted and repeatedly sexually abused an Oregon minor he met online.

Deven Richard Dearing, 26, was sentenced to 187 months in federal prison followed by a life term of supervised release.

According to court documents, in August 2020, multiple law enforcement agencies began searching for an Oregon minor declared missing by her family. Investigators soon discovered social media exchanges between the minor and Dearing, who was found to be residing in central California near Sacramento. On August 29, 2020, FBI agents contacted Dearing and interviewed him about his online exchanges and the possible whereabouts of the Oregon minor. On the same day, unrelated to law enforcement’s contact with Dearing, the missing minor walked into the Merced County Sheriff’s Office in Merced, California and told police she had run away from home. Investigators later learned this story was a lie concocted by Dearing to hide his role in the minor’s abduction.

Following the minor’s safe return to Oregon, the FBI’s investigation revealed Dearing had met her in June 2020 through a chat website called Omegle and later continued chatting with her on Instagram. The chats showed that Dearing, who was 23 at the time, knew the girl was minor and, over several months, engaged in extensive, sexually explicit exchanges with her. Dearing further convinced the minor to produce and send him multiple sexually explicit photos and videos.

On August 20, 2020, Dearing drove more than 600 miles from his house in California to the minor’s home in Oregon. While en route, he devised a plan to disable the SIM card in the minor’s phone to prevent her from being tracked. After picking her up, Dearing initially took the minor to a hotel in Oregon where he sexually abused her and later transported her to California where the abuse continued for more than a week. Dearing eventually agreed to drop the minor off at a local police station.

On January 25, 2021, Dearing was charged by criminal complaint with attempted sexual exploitation of a child, transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, receipt of child pornography, and possession of child pornography.

Later, on April 15, 2021, a federal grand jury in Eugene returned an indictment charging Dearing with sexual exploitation of a child, transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and receipt of child pornography. On September 15, 2022, Dearing pleaded guilty to the first two charges.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Eugene Resident Agency and the Corvallis Police Department with assistance from the FBI’s Fresno, California Resident Agency, the FBI’s Cellular Analysis Survey Team (CAST) and the FBI’s Child Abduction Rapid Deployment (CARD) Team. It was prosecuted by William M. McLaren, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, in coordination with the Benton County, Oregon and Mariposa County, California District Attorney’s Offices.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

Anyone who has information about the physical or online exploitation of children are encouraged to call the FBI at (503) 224-4181 or submit a tip online at www.fbi.gov/tips.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release