Former bank agent pleads guilty
by NEAL PUTNAM
Published - 05/31/16 - 03:40 PM | 3077 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A former loan agent for the defunct La Jolla Bank has pleaded guilty to making false statements to investigators over bribes paid to others at the bank.

Jocelyn J. Brown, 60, of San Diego, will be sentenced July 19 by U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Battaglia. She remains free on $20,000 bond.

La Jolla Bank failed in February 2010, and was taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. after the bank ran up debt totaling $1 billion.

Brown agreed the losses to victims were at least $82,185 and she will be ordered to pay restitution, according to court records.

Brown faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison. She admitted she lied about bribes paid to the bank’s vice president, Amalia Martinez, 52, who also worked at the bank’s Small Business Administration lending program.

Martinez, of San Diego, will be sentenced June 13 after she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to misapply bank funds in 2015. Martinez could get up to five years in prison and she is free on $25,000 bond.

Martinez admitted that she and other senior bank executives accepted cash bribes and kickbacks from borrowers in return for issuing hundreds of millions of dollars in loans to unqualified borrowers.

Also set for sentencing on June 13 is Annand Sliuman, 35, who pleaded guilty in 2014 to bribing an officer at the bank to approve loans on his behalf. Sliuman was a small business owner from Spring Valley who received a $1.8 million loan in 2008 after working with a third bank employee, Laura Ortuondo, 36, who submitted two tax forms that falsely stated he had satisfied his tax liabilities.

Ortuondo, of Cupertino, was sentenced in 2014 to one year of house arrest, a $3,000 fine, with terms of three years probation. Sliuman agreed in court records that his restitution figure is not less than $2.15 million. Sliuman is free on $15,000 bond.
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