Home Norfolk Press Releases 2013 Former Bank of the Commonwealth Mortgage Lender Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison for Massive Fraud

Former Bank of the Commonwealth Mortgage Lender Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison for Massive Fraud

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 30, 2013
  • Eastern District of Virginia (757) 441-6331

NORFOLK, VA—Troy Brandon Woodard, 37, of Norfolk, Virginia, was sentenced today to eight years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and three counts of unlawful participation in a loan. The court further ordered Woodard to pay approximately $2.4 million in restitution to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and to forfeit over $4 million in proceeds from the offense.

Dana J. Boente, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Royce E. Curtin, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; Thomas J. Kelly, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation’s Washington, D.C., Field Office (IRS-CI); Christy L. Romero, Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP); Jon T. Rymer, Inspector General of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC-OIG); and Mark Bialek, Inspector General of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (FRB-CFPB OIG) made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Raymond A. Jackson.

Woodard was found guilty after a 10-week jury trial on May 24, 2013. Evidence presented at trial demonstrated that Troy Brandon Woodard conspired with this father, Edward J. Woodard, the CEO and former chairman of the Board of the Bank of the Commonwealth, Stephen G. Fields, a former executive vice president and senior commercial loan officer and numerous troubled customers to defraud the Bank of the Commonwealth (“the bank”). Evidence introduced during trial established that Brandon Woodard urged his father to request favors from two of the bank’s largest borrowers, Eric H. Menden and George P. Hranowskyj, in exchange for favorable treatment at the bank. Facilitated by Edward Woodard, Menden and Hranowskyj obtained fraudulent bank loans and increases to existing bank loans to bail out Brandon Woodard’s failed investment properties and to purchase Brandon Woodard’s personal condominium. In the spring of 2010, at the request of Edward Woodard, Menden gave a brown paper bag containing thousands of dollars in cash to Brandon Woodard. Months later, Menden wrote a check for thousands of dollars to Brandon Woodard.

The evidence further demonstrated that Edward J. Woodard provided preferential treatment to Troy Brandon Woodard to the detriment of the bank. Brandon Woodard convinced his father to pay his personal legal fees related to a failed investment deal from the bank’s accounts receivable. Edward Woodard lied to regulators and his board to lease the Bank’s Suffolk branch to a company solely owned by his son and then spent more than $3 million to renovate and construct an extravagant branch on his son’s land. Finally, Brandon Woodard received thousands of dollars in illegal commissions for referring commercial loans to the bank.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, IRS-CI, SIGTARP, FDIC-OIG, and FRB-CFPB OIG. Assistant United States Attorneys Katherine Lee Martin, Uzo E. Asonye, and Melissa E. O’Boyle prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae.