CRESTVIEW ATTORNEY AND THREE DESTIN RESIDENTS INDICTED
FOR BANK FRAUD AND BRIBERY
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced that Crestview attorney Chris Cadenhead (age 56), and three Destin residents, Jackie T. Fair (age 70), Jane M. McDonald (age 58), and Randolph Branham (also known as Randy Branham) (age 44), have been arrested pursuant to a federal indictment returned earlier this week. The four count indictment charges Cadenhead, Fair and Branham in Count One with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and in Count Two with bribery of a loan officer. Cadenhead, Fair and McDonald are each charged in Count Three with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and in Count Four with mail fraud.
The indictment alleges that in order for McDonald and Fair to obtain a penthouse condominium located in Destin, Florida, Cadenhead, Branham and Fair conspired to defraud the financial institution Southwest Georgia Farm Credit, ACA, located in Bainbridge, Georgia. As a part of the conspiracy Cadenhead obtained a fraudulent $700,000 loan to help fund the purchase of penthouse condominium. In order to obtain the loan, it is alleged that Cadenhead paid a $50,000 bribe to a loan officer and also paid $25,000 to Branham. Thereafter, McDonald obtained loans in her name for the penthouse condominium with the assistance of Fair and Cadenhead. It is alleged that McDonald made false statements on her loan applications. A copy of the Indictment is attached hereto.
If convicted, Counts One and Two each carry a maximum sentence of thirty years in prison, and Counts Three and Four carry a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison on each count.
Larry J. Malone (age 56), of Bainbridge, Georgia, former Chief Lending Officer for Southwest Georgia Farm Credit, was indicted by the grand jury in its July session. As part of a plea and cooperation agreement with the government, on September 22, 2011, Malone pled guilty as charged to (1) conspiracy to commit bank fraud and (2) receipt of gifts or commissions for procuring a loan. Each of those offenses is punishable by up to thirty (30) years in prison.
This investigation was conducted by the newly formed Northwest Florida Mortgage Fraud Task Force, a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tiffany H. Eggers.An indictment is merely a formal charge by a grand jury that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty beyond every reasonable doubt at trial.