Fort Myers Man Indicted for Check-Kiting Scheme and Obstruction of Justice
FORT MYERS, FL—United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the return of an indictment charging Roger Eugene Hagood (43, Fort Myers) with 13 counts of bank fraud and two counts of obstruction of justice. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison for each bank fraud count and up to 20 years’ imprisonment for each obstruction of justice count. The indictment also notifies Hagood that the United States is seeking a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $1,592,121.00, the proceeds of the bank fraud offenses.
According to the indictment, Hagood operated Coral Palm Auto Sales, a used car dealership. Coral Palm Autos Sales received financing through a third-party lender to purchase automobiles. Vehicle titles were provided as security to procure the loans, and loan payments were made using proceeds from the vehicle sales. Once each loan was paid in full, the third-party lender would release the vehicle titles used to secure the loan back to Coral Palm Auto Sales.
In November and December 2011, Hagood allegedly engaged in a check-kiting scheme by writing 13 checks on his business checking account, made payable to the third-party lender, knowing that the account lacked sufficient funds to cover the checks.
As a result, the third-party lender wrote new loan checks on its account, made payable to Coral Palm Auto Sales, based on Hagood’s worthless checks. According to the indictment, Hagood’s scheme caused federally insured financial institutions to suffer significant financial losses.
The indictment also alleges that on March 29, 2015, Hagood concealed and attempted to destroy documents and records in an effort to obstruct an official proceeding and federal investigation.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey F. Michelland.