News and Press Releases

Michigan Man Pleads Guilty to Perpetrating a $4 Million Fraud

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2013

Contact Person: Bill Watkins (864) 282-2100

Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Darryl W. Clements, age 46, of Detroit, Michigan, pled guilty today in federal court in Anderson, to wire fraud, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343. Senior United States District Judge G. Ross Anderson, Jr. of Anderson accepted the plea and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that this case concerned efforts to obtain a $100 million bridge loan for a Canadian wind farm project. Gibbs International (“Gibbs”), a company with headquarters in Spartanburg, South Carolina, agreed to post $4 million in an escrow account at Bank of America to assist with securing the bridge loan for the project. Prior to posting the money, Gibbs demanded evidence that insurance coverage existed that would protect its money if the bridge loan did not close on schedule. Clements created a fraudulent documents showing that there was sufficient insurance to pay Gibbs if something happened to the escrow funds. The bridge loan did not close and Gibbs learned that Clements stole the $4 million placed in the escrow account. When Gibbs filed an insurance claim, it learned that Clements had created a fake policy and that there was no insurance. The wire fraud occurred because Clements sent the fraudulent documents to Gibbs via e-mail from Detroit, Michigan.

Mr. Nettles stated the maximum penalty Clements can receive is a fine of $250,000 and/or imprisonment for 20 years, plus a special assessment of $100.

The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Bill Watkins of the Greenville office handled the case.

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