FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
MARCH 13, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LEASE COMPANY OPERATOR CHARGED WITH BANK FRAUD
BALTIMORE, Maryland - A federal grand jury indicted Jeffrey B. Hazard, age 55, of Phoenix, Maryland today for bank fraud in connection with a scheme to obtain loans from banks under false pretenses, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to the indictment, Hazard owned and operated a car leasing company named Key Leasing and Rental, L.L.C.(Key Leasing). Hazard maintained revolving lines of credit with financial institutions whereby the financial institutions would provide financing for the purchase of automobiles by Key Leasing, which Key Leasing would then lease to individuals.
The 14-count indictment charges that from 1998 through November 1, 2002, Hazard requested financing of a single vehicle from more than one financial institution, falsely representing to each institution that they were the only lender for the purchase of the vehicle. Hazard would also allegedly request financing of a vehicle that Key Leasing had not purchased. Finally, the indictment alleges that Hazard failed to forward any insurance payment to the lender who had financed the vehicle when the vehicle was damaged or destroyed. Instead, Hazard kept the money, allowing the lender to believe that it retained a valid security interest in the undamaged vehicle. Counts one through 14 of the indictment charge Hazard with obtaining over $160,000 in fraudulent loans and insurance payments.
Hazard faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release and a $1 million fine on each count of bank fraud. His initial appearance has not yet been scheduled.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the investigative work performed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Tamera L. Fine, who is prosecuting the case.