One of several civil lawsuits filed against a Bend couple whose real estate businesses are under investigation by the FBI was settled Monday, three days before it was set to go to trial - leaving Kevin and Tami Sawyer on the hook for more than $800,000.
Under the stipulated judgment filed in Deschutes County Circuit Court, Starboard LLC, one of the firms owned by Tami and Kevin Sawyer, agreed to pay Bend Dr. David Redwine, his wife, Laurie Turner-Redwine, and the doctor's pension fund roughly $809,000.
The Redwines' suit is one of several accusing the Sawyers of improper use of investment funds. The case was set to go to trial on Thursday.
The settlement also sets 12 percent interest until the agreed-upon amount is paid.
Martin Hansen, the plaintiffs' attorney, told NewsChannel 21 that to his knowledge, it was the first such stipulated judgment agreed to by the Sawyers, whose real estate business, The Sawyer 5, was shut down earlier this year under the cloud of allegations.
Kevin Sawyer resigned his position as captain with the Bend Police Department earlier this year, several weeks after Police Chief Sandy Baxter publicly confirmed that one or more of the Sawyers' businesses were the subject of an FBI investigation.
"The judgment becomes a lien on the property of the judgment debtor - Starboard LLC, in this case," Hansen said late Monday.
"And there's various means we can go about the judgment, regarding selling these properties, having debtor exams," the lawyer said. "Things of that nature are the next steps to turn that judgment into actual cash, in favor of the Redwines."
The Sawyers' attorney, Brian MacRitchie, also made a rare statement to NewsChannel 21, when asked to comment on the stipulated settlement of the lawsuit.
"In this case, what my clients would like said is that they agreed to the entry of this judgment, and it's unfortunate," MacRitchie said. "But Starboard was caught in this market crash, meltdown, like so many others. Unfortunately, that's a sign of the times."
"They agreed this money was owed" to the Redwines, he said, again saying his clients were "unfortunately caught in this market meltdown."
The Sawyers' lawyer declined to comment about other pending cases or the status of the FBI probe.