Prominent Smithfield Businesswoman Sentenced to 68 Months in Prison for Fraud Convictions
NORFOLK, Va. – Linda T. Rowland, 61, of Smithfield, Va., was sentenced today to 68 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft convictions. She was also ordered to pay over $1.2 million in restitution.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after Rowland was sentenced by United States District Judge Mark S. Davis. Rowland had pled guilty to the charges on July 29, 2010.
According to court documents, Rowland and her husband owned and operated the Rowland Equipment Company in Smithfield for over 30 years. The company was primarily involved in the sale and maintenance of tractors, farming equipment and other outdoor power equipment. The company also assisted customers in obtaining financing for equipment purchases. For over a decade, from approximately 1998 through August 2009, Rowland falsified loan agreements to obtain money from several financial services companies. To do so, she used the names and personal information of customers and other members of her small community to complete loan agreements for the supposed purchase of equipment from her business. She used the names and personal information of 34 individuals to obtain more than 120 loans valued in excess of $2 million. As a result of Rowland’s fraud, five financial services companies suffered approximately $1.5 million in losses. To date, Rowland has paid back approximately $300,000.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Virginia State Police and the Smithfield Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Katherine Lee Martin prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov.