Cary Business Owner Sentenced to More Than Five Years in Federal Prison in International Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 31, 2013|
ROCKFORD, IL—A Cary, Illinois business owner was sentenced today in federal court by U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Kapala to 63 months in federal prison for conducting a three-and-a-half-year, multi-million-dollar international fraud scheme. Judge Kapala also ordered that Clare Thomas Anderson, 45, serve three years of supervised release following his release from prison and pay restitution of $6,191,155 to the companies he victimized. Anderson, who owned and operated multiple businesses in Cary, Illinois, and Florida, pled guilty to a federal wire fraud charge on April 2012.
According to the written plea agreement, Anderson owned and operated the following businesses: Certifibre LLC; Anderson International Global LLC, which had an assumed name of Worldwide Paper Company Inc.; American Surplus Supply; Southernmost Exploits LLC; Southernmost Holdings LTD; and Sea Consulting LLC. Through these businesses, Anderson contracted to sell wood pulp and other raw materials to manufacturers, brokers and suppliers, which were usually located in foreign countries.
Anderson obtained payments from his customers before the shipments arrived at their destinations. Often, the customers obtained letters of credit from their banks in order to pay for the shipments in advance. Anderson admitted that he obtained these payments by creating and presenting fraudulent documents to his customers. These documents falsely represented the quantity and quality of materials that had been shipped.
Anderson further admitted that, instead of shipping the wood pulp or other raw materials he had agreed to sell, he frequently shipped worthless scrap material to his foreign customers. When the customers called him to complain, Anderson falsely told them that the scrap materials were intended for other customers in different countries.
Anderson also admitted that on some occasions, instead of shipping the agreed upon amounts of wood pulp or other raw materials, he shipped substantially smaller amounts. When the customers called and complained about the short shipments, Anderson falsely told them that the short shipments were caused by clerical errors.
Anderson often failed to pay his own suppliers for the materials he had shipped. In addition, Anderson usually failed to pay the freight shipping charges. Anderson also admitted that he spent the fraudulently obtained funds on his own personal expenses. On a few occasions, Anderson refunded some money to his victims in order to avoid detection of his scheme. Anderson paid these refunds only after the victims contacted, or threatened to contact, federal law enforcement officials. Anderson admitted that he obtained the funds used to pay these refunds by defrauding additional customers.
The sentencing was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert J. Shields, Jr., Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott A. Verseman.