Sacramento banker accused of embezzlement lobbies for bailout

A veteran Sacramento mortgage banker who has been lobbying Congress to pass the $700 billion bailout has been accused of defrauding 11 of his former branch managers and embezzling $879,000 from them in the collapse of his Folsom mortgage brokerage in 2007.

The allegations against John A. Courson, owner of the defunct Folsom-based Central Pacific Mortgage Co., are described in a civil lawsuit filed last year by eight of Central Pacific's former branch managers in California, two in Maryland and one in Florida.

Courson, 66, is chief operating officer of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America in Washington, D.C. The industry group's members include 2,400 companies and 370,000 people from the real estate finance world: mortgage companies and brokers, banks, thrifts and insurance companies.

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