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Monday, May 11, 2009

Department of Justice

United States Attorney James R. Dedrick Eastern District of Tennessee


THOMAS DUANE RODERICK ARRESTED FOR MORTGAGE FRAUD SCHEME

(GREENEVILLE, TN) — Thomas Duane Roderick, age 42, of Wesley Chapel, Florida, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Greeneville, Tennessee, charged with one (1) count of wire fraud, three (3) counts of bank fraud, and three (3) counts of money laundering. The indictment was issued on April 15, 2009, but was sealed until Roderick’s arrest in Florida on April 21, 2009. Roderick appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dennis Inman in Greeneville today and was released on conditions. This arrest was announced by United States Attorney James R. "Russ" Dedrick.

The details of the charges, which include: wire fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud and money laundering are outlined in the arrest warrant and supporting affadavit, which are filed as public records in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville.

In summary, the affidavit alleges that, from approximately December 2004 until about July 19, 2007, Roderick, a mortgage loan broker and realtor in east Tennessee, devised a scheme to defraud others. The indictment states that Roderick worked with Premier Mortgage from 2005 until 2007 in Greeneville, Tennessee, and used various real estate closing agencies in Greene County. At the closings, Roderick would provide legal documents for the signature of the clients seeking loans, and the closing agency would disburse funds as required by the lending institution. Roderick allegedly set up a sham investment company entitled MSI and set up a checking account used to capture money from clients.

The indictment charges that Roderick caused one client to wire $20,000 to MSI, falsely telling this client that she would owe taxes on the $20,000 equity she received from the refinancing of her home mortgage. Roderick convinced her that if she turned the funds over to him, he would invest the money to avoid taxes. The indictment states that Roderick never invested the funds and immediately withdrew them within two days of the wire transfer.

Additionally, the indictment charges that Roderick persuaded another client to authorize $119,000 to be wired into his bank account by representing to her that he would use the funds to pay off her mortgage, pay her and her daughter’s outstanding bills, and to assist her granddaughter in obtaining a mobile home. Instead, the indictment states, Roderick spent the $119,000 within three weeks for his personal living expenses.

The charges in the indictment relate to the wiring of the funds to Roderick for his use in the scheme, the mailing of the documents Roderick prepared in order for his clients to obtain the funds from the lending institutions, and the subsequent financial transactions Roderick conducted with the proceeds of his scheme.

United States Attorney Dedrick said, "Mortgage fraud is a priority program both for the Eastern District of Tennessee as well as the Department of Justice."

Members of the public are reminded that these are only charges and that every person is presumed innocent until their guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

For additional information, please contact United States Attorney Russ Dedrick, 865-545-4167, Supervisory AUSA Nancy Stallard Harr, 423-639-6759, or Public Information Officer Sharry Dedman-Beard, 865-545-4167.

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