The FBI is searching for two Federal Way business owners previously convicted for multiple counts of fraud, who failed to appear for their April 29 sentencing.
Bernard Ross Hansen, 61, is the former president and CEO of Northwest Territorial Mint (NWTM), a now-bankrupt company previously based in Federal Way dealing in precious metals.
In July 2021, he was recently convicted of 14 federal felonies resulting from a Ponzi-like scheme that defrauded customers of millions of dollars, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Vault Manager Diane Renee Erdmann, 49, was also convicted of 13 counts of wire fraud and mail fraud following the trial, according to the DOJ. After failing to appear for their April 29 sentencing, a judge issued a warrant for their arrest.
They fled their home in Auburn, and are traveling in a blue 2005 Mazda MPV. Erdmann and Hansen were last seen on Sunday morning (May 1) checking out of a hotel in Federal Way, according to the FBI.
They then drove south on Pacific Highway South 99. They are traveling with a Cardigan Welsh Corgi dog and are paying for expenses with cash.
Erdmann and Hansen may still be in South King County, but also have ties to Eastern Washington, California, Oregon, and Nevada, according to the FBI.
Each of the counts of conviction are punishable by up to 20 years in prison, the Mirror previously reported.
The business previously dealt with selling, buying exchanging, storing and leasing gold, silver and other previous metals, according to the DOJ.
Approximately 2,500 customers paid for orders, made bullion sales or made exchanges that were either never fulfilled or never refunded, resulting in a total loss of $25 million, the trial revealed. Later, it was found nearly $5 million was missing from the NWTM vaults.
Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to contact the FBI Toll-Free at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324). You may also contact your local FBI office, the nearest American Embassy or Consulate, or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.