United States Attorney David Capp
Northern District of Indiana
M01-204 S. Main Street
South Bend, IN 46601
Hammond South Bend Fort Wayne
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Mary L. Hatton December 16, 2010 PHONE: (219) 937-5603 www.usdoj.gov/usao/inn/ Fax: (219) 852-2770ACTIVITY IN FEDERAL COURT - SOUTH BEND
South Bend, IN—The United States Attorney's Office announced the following activity in Federal Court:
Byron Levon Canada, 63, of US Highway 31, Berrien Springs, Michigan, was sentenced by Judge Robert Miller, Jr. to 135 months imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to 24 counts of wire fraud, 2 counts of mail fraud, and 4 counts of money laundering. Canada and corporate defendants Trinity Trust Financial Services, LLC, and Providence Funding, Inc. will each pay restitution in the amount of $3,546,417.50 and a special assessment in the amount of $3,100.00.
The defendants engaged in a scheme to defraud various persons and entities of monies using offices maintained in South Bend, Indiana. The scheme began around 2004 and continued into 2009. The scheme to defraud consisted of the defendants and their accomplices representing that the defendants could provide loans and financing for various business, real estate, and church projects that were being pursued by victims. As part of the scheme, defendant Canada falsely represented to victims including several churches that Provident Funding Inc. and Trinity Trust Financial Services LLC were direct lenders with their own source of funds for financing such projects. The defendants also gave false assurances that loans and financing could and would be provided, despite the defendants knowing that there was little or no likelihood that financing could ever be provided for the victims’ projects and business ventures. As part of the scheme, the defendants solicited up front payments of fees ranging from $5,000 to more than $225,000 from victims as advance payment of fees for the loans and financing. The defendants along with others then kept these fees even when no financing or loans were ever provided as promised. As part of the scheme, the defendants along with accomplices prepared various loan documents and other paperwork to make it seem as if the defendants were arranging the promised funding when in fact no such financing or funding was really being arranged or was provided. As part of the fraud scheme, the defendants assisted by others solicited and received interstate wire transfers of monies from victims across the United States as well as mailings of checks from victims – as listed in Counts 1 through 26 of the Indictment. These advance fees were received into or deposited into accounts maintained by the defendants in the Northern District of Indiana. Using the monies from the wire/mail fraud scheme, defendant Canada (aided and abetted by the corporate defendants and other persons) engaged in the four transactions listed in Counts 27 through 30 of the Indictment. These transactions each occurred in the United States of America and involved transactions that were more than $10,000 each.
This case was the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Donald Schmid.