News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

WEDNESDAY - October 6, 2010

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS DEFRAUDED THROUGH

COPIER LEASES

RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court today United States District Judge James C. Dever III, sentenced SCOTT ARTHUR WADDELL, 51, of Raleigh, North Carolina, to 51 months’ imprisonment followed by three years supervised release. The Court also ordered restitution to the victims totaling over $1.7 million.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Superseding Criminal Information on December 22, 2009. On January 13, 2010, WADDELL pled guilty to wire fraud.

According to documents filed with the Court, from November, 2003, to October, 2008, WADDELL devised a scheme to defraud financial leasing companies, that include U.S. Bancorp, Marlin Leasing, Leasing One, CIT, and SunTrust, out of over $1,000,000.00. The leasing companies believed that WADDELL was a copier salesman, who was locating customers who needed copiers and having them sign leases with the financing companies, then providing the customers with copiers. The leasing companies, being credit-based lenders, would do a credit check of the customer. If the customer passed the credit check, the leasing companies paid WADDELL based on the value of each signed lease. The leasing companies expected to receive legally binding contracts from customers meeting their credit rating standards; exchanging their money for a repayment promise by the customer. WADDELL submitted fraudulent leases to the leasing companies, that had signatures of customers promising to pay monthly payments for copying equipment. But the customers had never signed those lease forms. In some instances, the customers who had actually signed leases, WADDELL had altered the payment amount to a much larger sum. In still other instances, WADDELL submitted forms in which he had convinced customers to sign a blank form, a form he claimed was something else, or one in which he simply forged the customers’ names. Based on these fraudulent leases, the leasing companies paid WADDELL millions of dollars.

WADDELL’s scheme also operated in part as a Ponzi-type scheme because he used money coming in to make payments on the fraudulent leases. Because of this aspect, the leasing companies did not realize that there was a problem with their leases. They continuedto send WADDELL money for the fraudulent leases he provided.Investigation of this case was conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Raleigh Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney David Bragdon represented the government.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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