News and Press Releases

Three Men Indicted On Mail Fraud Charges Durham Fraternal Organization and Members are Alleged Victims of Insurance Scheme

April 7, 2008

Greensboro, NC – WILLIAM CARL SOUDER, JR, 52, of Atlanta, Georgia, MARVIN DEAN CHAMBERS, SR., age unknown, of Asheville, North Carolina and ALVIN LEWIS ELLIOTT, SR., 62, of Fayetteville, North Carolina were indicted April 29, 2008, on mail fraud charges, announced Anna Mills Wagoner, United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina.

The nine-count indictment [United States v. Souder et al., 1:08CR136] alleges that between May 2002 and April 2004, SOUDER, CHAMBERS, and ELLIOTT conspired to defraud The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina and Jurisdiction, Inc. (“Prince Hall Lodge”) in Durham, North Carolina, and its members through a life insurance plan offered to members and their families. The indictment further alleges that during the period of the fraud SOUDER was president of the Atlanta Life General Agency, Inc., which offered the life insurance program to Prince Hall Lodge members, CHAMBERS was Grand Master of the Prince Hall Lodge, and ELLIOTT was Grand Secretary of the Prince Hall Lodge.

CHAMBERS and ELLIOTT have been arrested and were released from custody pending a May 8, 2008 arraignment. SOUDER surrendered on the charges in Atlanta today.

If convicted, each defendant could be sentenced on each count charged to imprisonment for a period of not more than twenty years, a fine of not more than $250,000, and supervised release of three years.

The investigation was conducted by the North Carolina Department of Insurance and the United States Postal Inspection Service.

The public is cautioned that an indictment is a formal method of issuing charges. It does not, in and of itself, create an inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until such time, if ever, as the government establishes his or her guilt by competent evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.

For additional information regarding North Carolina insurance investigations, contact Chrissy Pearson, Director of Public Information for the N.C. Department of Insurance, at (919) 733-5238.

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