Spruce Pine Man Indicted for $100 Million Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 23, 2012|
CHARLOTTE, NC—A Spruce Pine man was indicted by a federal grand jury, sitting in Charlotte yesterday, on charges of conspiracy, bank fraud, and making false statements on tax returns, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
Joining U.S. Attorney Tompkins in making today’s announcement are Jeannine A. Hammett, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI); Chris Briese, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and Jon T. Rymer, Inspector General of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of the Inspector General (FDIC-OIG).
According to the criminal indictment, Randy Alan Carpenter, 54, of Spruce Pine, North Carolina, and his co-conspirators operated a scheme to defraud federally insured banks and individual investors out of over $82 million in residential mortgage loan proceeds through a proposed real estate development near Spruce Pine, known as the Village of Penland. The indictment alleges that the conspiracy lasted from about December 2001 through about May 2007, and that during that time, Carpenter closed over 300 residential real estate loans to individuals secured by Penland lots and valued at approximately $108 million. The indictment further alleges that Carpenter defrauded both investors and banks by failing to provide the legal services indicated and through various false statements made to the banks to obtain the loans. The indictment also alleges that Carpenter was paid approximately $2 million in fees related to the Penland transactions.
The first charge in the indictment alleges conspiracy to make a false statement and application in relation to a loan, conspiracy to commit mail, wire and bank fraud. Counts two through five allege bank fraud, and counts six and seven allege that Carpenter filed false tax returns.
Five other defendants have already pled guilty and have been sentenced so far by U.S. District Court Judge Frank D. Whitney in connection with this case. It should be noted that these defendants had their sentences reduced by the court to reflect their cooperation with the United States in its investigation and prosecution of others.
- Anthony Porter, 55, of Flat Rock, North Carolina, pled guilty on August 19, 2008 to conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to commit money laundering and making false statement on tax return. Porter was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment on June 4, 2010.
- Frank Amelung, 63, of Boca Raton, Florida, pled guilty on August 21, 2008 to conspiracy to defraud the United States and tax evasion. Amelung was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment on July 2, 2010.
- John Kevin Foster, 56, of Atlanta, Georgia, pled guilty on August 20, 2008 to conspiracy to defraud the United States. Foster was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment on March 1, 2010.
- Michael Yeomans, 60, of University Park, Florida, pled guilty on May 9, 2008 to mortgage fraud. Yoemans was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment on November 1, 2010.
- Neil O’Rourke, 44, of Cary, North Carolina, pled guilty on February 6, 2008 to conspiracy to defraud the United States. O’Rourke was sentenced to 39 months in prison on June 3, 2009.
Carpenter’s conspiracy charge carries a maximum sentence of five years, a $250,000 fine, or both. The bank fraud charges carry a maximum sentence of 30 years, $1,000,000 fine, or both; and the false tax return charges carry a maximum sentence of three years in prison, a fine of up to $100,000, or both.
The defendant was arrested this morning and made his initial appearance in U.S. Magistrate Court today. He has been released on bond pending trial.
The details contained in this indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The investigation is being jointly handled by the FBI, IRS, and FDIC-OIG. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael E. Savage and Maria K. Vento of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.