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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of California

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Denver Man Who Promoted Credit Services Scheme To Fraudulently Obtain Business Lines Of Credit Sentenced To Federal Prison

LOS ANGELES – A Denver man who billed himself as “The Credit Line Millionaire” was sentenced today to 21 months in federal prison as a result of his role in a scheme to obtain lines of credit worth hundreds of thousands of dollars through a host of misrepresentations and falsified documents.

Christopher Robert Wise, 35, was sentenced today by United States District Court Judge John Kronstadt in Los Angeles. Wise has been in federal custody since his arrest by the United States Secret Service at Los Angeles International Airport last August after he arrived on a flight from Mexico.

Wise pled guilty in October to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, admitting that he conspired to fraudulently obtain lines of credit from Wells Fargo Bank, Union Bank and City National Bank.

According to prosecutors, Wise maintained a significant online presence, which included his websites www.creditlinemillionaire.com and http://chriswise.com/, and he billed himself as a credit guru who could help clients obtain loans for their small- and medium-size businesses. Wise referred his clients to several co-conspirators who controlled Inland Empire companies and who promised to help acquire financing.

As part of his guilty plea, Wise admitted attempting to obtain business lines of credit for himself through loan applications submitted to the victim banks on behalf of one of his companies. Wise also admitted he used a co-conspirator as a “credit partner” to pose as a “personal guarantor” for the loans – in essence, using a “straw borrower” to apply for loans in exchange for giving the credit partner a percentage of the loan proceeds.

At sentencing, prosecutors relied on an online video of defendant speaking at one of his seminars where he summarized his scam, saying, among other things:

“My credit is messed up. I’m getting over a million dollars. I have leveraged over a million dollars in the past. I’m getting ready to get another million dollars in one shot . . . My business doesn’t qualify for the revenue documentation, because as a business owner I like to write everything off.  Right, that is one of the advantages of being a business owner. And so when you go to the bank and you show them everything is written off, they don’t really like to see that. So my business doesn’t qualify.  And so by leveraging other people’s credit and by leveraging other people’s entities, I’m now in the process of getting a million dollars line of credit.”

Previously in this investigation, five co-conspirators pleaded guilty, four of whom are pending sentencing. Last month, Avedis Abraham Hagopian was sentenced to two years in federal prison for his role in the scheme.

This case is the result of an investigation by the United States Secret Service.

Release No. 14-009

Updated June 22, 2015