N.C. Man Handed Sentence for Bank Fraud
|June 19, 2012|
HOUSTON – Grady Davis, 35, of Cornelius, N.C., has been sentenced to federal prison for his six convictions of bank fraud, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Davis was found guilty following three days of trial and 2 ½ hours of deliberation in March 2012. The basic scheme for which he was convicted involved obtaining a corporate credit card, charging thousands of dollars…then to simply walk away.
Today, U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon, who presided over the trial, handed Davis a sentence of 57 months on each count of bank fraud, which will be served concurrently. He was further ordered to pay $421,997 in restitution and to serve three years of supervised release following completion of his prison term.
At trial, the government provided evidence that Davis owned a company known as Davis Exotics or Davis Auto Broker and that it was run out of a back room in his house. It was through that so called business he met Igor Dukhin, of Houston, and Gentry Wilson, now deceased, who had already been previously involved with other fraud schemes.
In 2008, Dukhin filled out and submitted an application for a corporate American Express card. However, American Express does not allow cash advances, only the purchase of goods and services. In fact, cash refunds are not even allowed. So, according to the evidence, they found someone to run the card for cash in exchange for a cut of the money – that was Davis. According to testimony, Davis suggested using tractor trailers instead of the types of cars in his business due to the possible suspicious appearance. In December 2008, Davis applied for and received a merchant account with American Express and on Dec. 22, he swiped the card for the first time in the amount of $99,999. American Express called to authorize the amount, at which time, Dukhin or Wilson approved the charges. Once the money was received, a portion was eventually sent to Dukhin and Wilson, while Davis kept a percentage for himself.
Similar transactions occurred over the course of the next three months. Davis also sent a bill of sale for a 2002 Kenworth tractor to prove he actually sold them something, but, in fact, that was a forgery. Over the course of the scheme, no products ever changed hands, only money. Wilson and Dukhin also made a payment in order to prolong the life of the cards, according to trial testimony. In late February 2009, the account was suspended and an investigation soon followed during which time Wilson and Dukhin confirmed they had received the trucks, while Davis contended he sold them. Davis continued to tell a similar story throughout the investigation until the federal indictment was returned in September 2010.
At that time, Davis began to contend he never actually sold the trucks - that each deal was cancelled before finalized and he was simply refunding the deposit money minus a restocking fee. However, testimony and evidence at trial indicated that people he claimed to have dealt with in obtaining the trucks had never heard of him.
Davis has been in custody where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys F. Andino Reynal and Julie Searle.