Four Charged in Conspiracy to Commit Fraud and Launder Money
|FBI Jackson December 18, 2012|
JACKSON, MS—Daniel McMullen, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Mississippi, and United States Attorney Greg Davis announced today that H. Claiborne Frazier, Austin W. Frazier, Cresco Elmore (“C.E.”) Frazier, Jr., and Spencer Copeland have been charged in a two-count indictment. H. Claiborne Frazier, formerly of Brandon; Austin W. Frazier, formerly of Ridgeland; and C.E. Frazier, Jr., formerly of Jackson, owned and operated C.E. Frazier Construction Inc. and several other businesses. Spencer Copeland is the step-brother of H. Claiborne Frazier and Austin W. Frazier.
Count one of the indictment charges H. Claiborne Frazier, Austin W. Frazier, and C.E. Frazier, Jr. with conspiracy to commit bank, mail, and wire fraud. According to the indictment, these defendants made false and misleading statements to banks in relation to construction projects and to a surety and bonding company in relation to bonds issued to C.E. Frazier Construction Company. Count two of the indictment charges Austin W. Frazier, C.E. Frazier, Jr., and Spencer Copeland with conspiracy to commit money laundering. According to the indictment, these defendants conspired to conceal the money that they obtained through the fraudulent statements by transferring it through various bank accounts and taking other steps.
Count one of the indictment carries a maximum penalty of 30 years’ imprisonment. Count two of the indictment carries a maximum of 20 years of imprisonment.
The Fraziers made their initial appearances this afternoon before Magistrate Judge Keith Ball, who set a trial date of February 5, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Dan P. Jordan, III.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Carla J. Clark and Richard Starrett.
The public is reminded that indictments contain only charges and are not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial, at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.