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Press Release

Georgetown Home Builder Sentenced To 69 Months For Bank Fraud, Embezzlement, Aggravated Identity Theft And A False Loan Application

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky

Defendant used the identity of a five year old to fraudulently obtain loans

FRANKFORT, KY -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 today that a home builder from Georgetown, KY., was sentenced to 69 months in federal prison for fraudulently obtaining more than a million dollars in loans from a Frankfort bank.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove sentenced 59 year-old Lee C. Tevis for bank fraud, a false loan application, aiding and abetting bank embezzlement and aggravated identity theft.

In August of 2013, after a five day trial, a federal jury convicted Tevis of the offenses and acquitted him of an additional conspiracy charge.

Evidence at trial established that, beginning in 2006, Tevis fraudulently obtained loans from American Founders Bank (AFB), by setting up bogus corporations in the names of other people to bypass loan limits, while constructing a house.

The evidence further establshed 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 $1,095,000 in loans from the bank, according to the evidence at trial. The Bank eventually foreclosed on the home for which Tevis received the loans and suffered a significant financial loss.

Additionally, Jim Tate, the AFB president who approved the loans for Tevis, pleaded guilty to bank fraud and received a sentence of 36 months in prison.

Under federal law, Tevis must serve at least 85 percent of his prison sentence.

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

Updated November 25, 2015