After deliberating for most of Friday, Jan. 21, a Whatcom County Superior Court jury convicted a woman for her role in bilking $350,000 from three Canadian investors in a real-estate scheme.
Shortly before 4 p.m. Friday, the jury returned to Judge Steven Mura's courtroom to read its verdict against Victoria Mallahan, 49: guilty on two counts of first-degree theft.
Her sentencing date has not been set; she remains free on bond.
Her attorney, John Henry Browne, was unavailable for comment Friday afternoon.
Mallahan, Ross Paterson, 47, and two Canadian citizens formed an investment group in late 2006 called Canusa Capital LLC, according to trial testimony.
Paterson was put on trial with Mallahan, but the case against him was separated midway through the trial. Mallahan's defense was that she had no control over the money that was invested and did everything at Paterson's behest.
In order for Paterson to receive a fair trial, his attorney, Mike Brodsky, argued that he must be tried separately. Mura agreed. Paterson will be tried later.
The group's intent was to attract investors into purchasing property going through foreclosure proceedings in Whatcom County; the property would then be sold again for profit several months later.
In 2007, Mallahan and a Canadian citizen, Palmar Kartar, convinced three others, Balbir Heer, Robert Mangat and Wanda Florczyk, to invest $350,000 with the group, according to trial testimony.
While Mallahan represented to them that they were purchasing properties in the county and provided false documents showing so, no property was ever purchased and only a portion of the money has been recovered.