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Georgia man pleads guilty to wire fraud

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 2, 2014

     BUFFALO, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Rodney Walker, 44, of Atlanta, Georgia, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Arcara, to wire fraud. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and a fine of $250,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell T. Ippolito, Jr., who handled the case, stated that the defendant created an investment loan scheme which resulted in $175,000 dollars in financial losses to an investment company located in the Western District of New York.  Walker represented to the victim investment company that he and a co-conspirator could obtain a standby letter of credit from banks outside the United States. The defendant assured representatives of the investment company that he could monetize the stand by letter of credit which would provide the investment company with $100 million dollars in loans. As part of the scheme, Walker required the investment company to provide him with $175,000 which would purportedly cover the costs associated with the financial transaction. The investment company provided the funds but instead of using the money to obtain financing, the defendant, and his co-conspirator, used the funds for their own purposes. 

The plea was the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Sentencing is scheduled for August 19, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. before Judge Arcara.