Former Auto Leasing Company Owner Sentenced to Two Years in Federal Prison on Bank Fraud Conviction
DALLAS—The former owner and president of Curry Auto Leasing (CAL) in Dallas, who pleaded guilty in July 2014 to an information charging one count of bank fraud, was sentenced yesterday, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Christopher Mark Hood, 47, of Rockwall, Texas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey to 24 months in federal prison and ordered to pay approximately $1,170,620 in restitution. He must surrender to the Bureau of Prisons in January 2015.
CAL, located on Montfort Drive in Dallas, facilitated auto leases for individual and corporate clients by obtaining funding for the vehicles from various financial institutions. CAL served as the intermediary between the customer and the financial institutions, obtaining funding for the leases for the customer and then servicing the leases on behalf of the financial institutions.
According to documents filed in the case, beginning as early as September 2007 and continuing through at least October 2010, Hood knowingly executed a scheme to defraud the financial institutions by making false representations and promises concerning the auto leases and loans.
Hood’s scheme to defraud had two parts: (1) “double pledging” lease agreements with multiple financial institutions; and (2) providing a false guarantee to the financial institutions that CAL would provide a clear title to financed vehicles, knowing that clear titles could not be provided.
After obtaining financing from the originating financial institution to acquire one or more vehicles to be leased by CAL customers, on occasion, CAL through Hood, sought and secured subsequent funding for the same vehicle(s) from a second or new financial institution. At times, the secondary funding occurred at or about the time of the expiration of the original lease and/or for reducing the monthly cost to the customer. In some instances, however, the secondary funding occurred a few months after the original lease was funded by the original bank, without disclosure of the original lease to the secondary funding institution. At the time of the secondary financing, CAL, through Hood, represented to that financial institution that the funds paid through this financing would be paid timely to the original financial intuition so that a clear title could be obtained and provided. Hood knew this statement was false.
The U.S. Secret Service, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Nicholas Bunch prosecuted.