DOJ Seal Department of Justice  
United States Attorney John M. Bales
Eastern District of Texas


TUESDAY, AUGUST 11, 2009            PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER             DIRECT: (409) 839-2538 CELL: (409) 553-9881




            MARSHALL, TX – U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced today that a 47-year-old Pittsburg, Texas man has been sentenced to federal prison for mail fraud in the Eastern District of Texas. 

            PAUL BANKS pleaded guilty on May 7, 2009, to mail fraud and was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge T. John Ward.  Banks was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $217,500.00.

            According to information presented in court, Banks devised a scheme in which he purchased horses and insured them for significantly more than they were worth.  When the horses were found dead, he submitted insurance claims for payment.  Specifically, on Oct. 30, 2003, Banks insured a horse named A Fellow Sophisticate, claiming he had purchased the horse for $20,000, which was significantly more than he had paid.  On Apr. 22, 2004, Banks reported that A Fellow Sophisticate had been found dead and submitted an insurance claim by mail on May 6, 2004 for the amount of $20,000.  In the claim, Banks alleged he had purchased A Fellow Sophisticate for $20,000 and that he had not had any other animals die in the preceding 12 months.  Both of those statements were false. 

            This case was investigated by the Postal Inspection Service and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Jackson. 


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