James Willis Kirk, Jr., And Glen E. Smith, Jr., Sentenced In Investment Fraud Scheme
RALEIGH – United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that today in federal court, Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever III sentenced JAMES WILLIS KIRK, JR., age 63, and GLEN E. SMITH, JR., age 60, to 60 months and 48 months imprisonment respectively. A third defendant, CAROL APRIL GRAFF, age 61, was sentenced to 18 months. At the request of the government the award of restitution has been postponed for 60 days.
KIRK and GRAFF are from Washington, NC. SMITH is from Lake Worth, FL. All three defendants pled guilty to Conspiracy to commit Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud, Sell Unregistered Securities, and Engage in Unlawful Monetary Transactions in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. KIRK and SMITH also pled guilty to selling Unregistered Securities in violation of Title 15, United States Code, Sections 77e and 77x.
Assistant United States Attorney David A. Bragdon stated, “This scheme targeted victims at churches, often in rural areas. With promises of zero risk, many victims invested money they could not afford to lose. Their lives have been turned upside down.”
KIRK, SMITH, and GRAFF all testified in the trial of co-conspirator Thomas L. Kimmel, who was found guilty by a jury on July 26, 2014 of Conspiracy, Mail Fraud, and Money Laundering. The Government’s evidence showed that Kimmel solicited about $20 million for Sure Line Acceptance Corporation from investors. Investors were falsely promised that their principal was protected by collateral in the form of cars and car loans.
IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Holloman III stated, “These defendants are con artists who took advantage of honest hardworking people. Inevitably, these schemes collapse causing financial hardships on those whose money was taken through fraud.”
Investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and the Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorneys David A. Bragdon and Evan Rikhye represented the government.