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Oregon men accused of running real estate scam, drawing $10 million from investors – OregonLive

Two Oregon men face SEC allegations.AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File
In an era when investment scams tend toward the exotic — cryptocurrencies, wonder drugs, cannabis — two Oregon residents are accused of running an operation that was decidedly low-tech.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued Robert D. Christensen, a former mortgage lender from Sherwood, and Anthony Matic, a former real estate agent from Damascus, on Friday in U.S. District Court in Portland, accusing them of running a Ponzi-like scheme. “From the outset,” the agency said, “the plan was not financially viable.”
Christensen and Matic allegedly told investors they intended to buy rental homes in the Great Lakes region. What’s more, the complaint alleges, they promised to repay investors in a matter of months with interest in the 9% to 15% range. Investors gave the duo more than $10 million, according to the SEC.
Christensen and Matic did buy 34 homes in the region. But the SEC claims they repaid early investors with money provided by other investors. They also paid themselves “significant sums of money from these promissory note funds for their personal expenses and entertainment,” according to the lawsuit.
The duo accepted money from investors regardless of their financial position, the complaint claimed. In some cases, the SEC alleges, Christiansen convinced people to sell their homes and invest the proceeds in the promissory notes.
Today, all of the outstanding promissory notes are long past due, the SEC says. With interest continuing to accrue, Christensen and Matic now owe investors nearly $20 million, according to the SEC.
Christensen and Matic could not be reached for comment.
— Jeff Manning, [email protected]
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