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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Kentucky

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Georgetown Home Builder Convicted Of Bank Fraud, Embezzlement, Aggravated Identity Theft And False Loan Application

LEXINGTON, KY - A home builder from Georgetown, KY., was convicted by a federal jury of fraudulently obtaining more than a million dollars in loans from a Frankfort bank.

The jury convicted 59 year-old Lee C. Tevis of one count of bank fraud, three counts of false loan application, three counts of aiding and abetting bank embezzlement and three counts of aggravated identity theft. Tevis was acquitted on a conspiracy count. The jury rendered the verdict Monday evening, after more than 15 hours of deliberation, following five days of trial.

Evidence at trial proved that, starting in 2006, Tevis began construction on a house and fraudulently obtained loans from American Founders Bank (AFB), by setting up bogus corporations in the names of other people to bypass loan limits.

The evidence furthered revealed that Tevis used some of the loan money, which the bank intended to be used to fund a home in Frankfort, to pay off his personal loans and debt on other construction projects.

According to trial testimony, when Tevis reached loan limits established by the Bank, he set up a bogus corporation in the name of his company’s foreman, an illegal alien, in order to obtain more loans. After fraudulently qualifying for the loans, Tevis used the social security number of the foreman’s five year-old son to pass the bank’s credit check.

Tevis fraudulently received $1.4 million in loans from the bank, according to the evidence at trial. The Bank eventually foreclosed on the home that Tevis received the loans for and suffered a significant financial loss in the process.

Jim Tate, the AFB president who approved the loans for Tevis, previously pleaded guilty to bank fraud and will be sentenced on September 10.

Kerry B. Harvey, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Perrye Turner, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and John E. Lucas, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of Inspector General jointly announced the conviction.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI and the FDIC-OIG. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Sparks and Jim Arehart represent the U.S. Attorney’s Office in this case.

Tevis will appear for sentencing on December 3. He faces a maximum of 30 years in prison. However, the Court must consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the applicable federal statutes before imposing a sentence.

Updated November 25, 2015