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Friday, December 17, 2010

Department of Justice

United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee


GREENEVILLE, Tenn — Thomas Duane Roderick, 44, of Wesley Chapel, Fla., was sentenced on Dec. 16, 2010, to 37 months in prison for a mortgage fraud and money laundering scheme in Greene and Cocke Counties in Tenn.. He was also ordered to pay restitution exceeding $200,000 to victims. Roderick pleaded guilty and was sentenced on count one, wire fraud and count six, money laundering set forth in an indictment issued on April 15, 2009. Roderick was taken into custody immediately following the hearing.

The details of the charges, which included wire fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud and money laundering are outlined in the indictment and sentencing documents, which are filed as public records in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville.

From approximately Dec. 2004 until about Jul. 19, 2007, Roderick, a mortgage loan broker and realtor in Greeneville, devised a scheme to defraud clients. The indictment states that Roderick worked with Premier Mortgage from 2005 until 2007 in Greeneville, Tenn., and used various real estate closing agencies in Greene County. At the closings, Roderick would provide fraudulent legal documents for the signature of the clients seeking loans, and the closing agency would disburse funds as required by the lending institution. He set up a sham investment company entitled MSI, Inc., and used a bogus checking account to capture money from clients.

Roderick caused one victim to wire $20,000 to MSI, falsely telling her that she would owe taxes on the $20,000 equity she received from the refinancing of her home mortgage. He convinced her that if she turned the funds over to him, he would invest the money to avoid taxes. Roderick never invested the funds and immediately withdrew them within two days of the wire transfer, and spent them for his own benefit.

Additionally, Roderick persuaded another victim 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 assist her granddaughter in obtaining a mobile home. He spent the $119,000 within three weeks for his personal living expenses, and further fraudulently obtained an additional $47,300 from the same victim a few months later.

A third victim and her husband were fraudulently induced to take out a property loan for the benefit of a family need. Roderick took the proceeds of that loan for his own personal use. In actuality, the family in need was induced to give up the title to their mobile home to Roderick. He defaulted on the loan, and the family lost their mobile home when the land it sat upon was foreclosed.

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 he conducted with the proceeds of his scheme.

United States Attorney William C. Killian said, "Mortgage fraud is a priority program both for the Eastern District of Tennessee as well as the Department of Justice. Criminal activity which results in the loss of family homes and farms will be aggressively prosecuted."

This prosecution was a result of the hard work and cooperative efforts of the United States Secret Service, Department of Treasury Internal Revenue Service, Greeneville Police Department and United States Postal Inspection Service.

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