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Spokane bar owner indicted for allegedly defrauding local banks

The owner of several downtown Spokane bars has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly defrauding local banks of more than a half-million dollars while taking advantage of mortgage relief programs for which he didn’t qualify.

Jeremy Tangen has been involved in operations at the now-shuttered MarQuee Lounge, Fast Eddies Bar & Grill and Borracho Tacos & Tequileria. The five criminal charges span nine years and allege Tangen inflated his income on loan applications for residential real estate in Cheney and did not disclose all of his property holdings to lenders.

He pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court and his attorney, Carl Oreskovich, argued successfully to have Tangen released from custody without having to post bond.

Oreskovich said Tangen has been aware of the criminal investigation for 18 months.

Tangen, who is also part owner of Press on the South Hill, applied for mortgage relief from a federal program designed to help homeowners on the cusp of foreclosure. But the grand jury alleges Tangen applied for the protection on properties he rented to others, and continued to collect rent while failing to make mortgage payments.

The grand jury also alleges that Tangen applied for foreclosure protection on his rental properties through a program designed to help active military service members during their deployments. The indictment says Tangen, a lieutenant in the Washington State Air National Guard, was ineligible for the program, but received benefits anyway. When banks discovered the error, they again sought foreclosure and lost tens of thousands of dollars in the process.

Tangen filed for bankruptcy protection in October 2010. The MarQuee Lounge shut its doors in August 2013. The grand jury alleges Tangen used a loan that was supposed to go toward the MarQuee to buy residential real estate.

Tangen graduated from Medical Lake High School in 2002 and earned a bachelor’s degree in professional development from Washington State University in 2006.

Staff member John Stucke contributed to this report.