Mebane Man Pleads Guilty to Multi-Million Dollar Commercial Leasing Fraud Scheme
“Federal law enforcement specializes in unraveling complex financial frauds like this one, where a computer equipment supplier bilked financiers for millions in a scheme that lasted years,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “The Research Triangle is a hub for tech and innovation. We are ramping up white collar fraud enforcement to ensure fraudsters who take advantage of our booming tech sector are held accountable.”
According to court documents and information presented in court, from March 2016 to January 2022, while he was living in Cary, Raymond executed a scheme to defraud financing companies in connection with computer equipment lease deals. The targets of Raymond’s scheme were financing companies who offered small to medium-sized businesses (“customers”) financing and secured leases for computer servers and other computer equipment. Under these leasing programs, financers paid for and took title to the equipment and then in turn leased it to the customers for a fixed term. Financers entered into agreements with brokers who, for a fee, could bring potential equipment leasing opportunities to the financers for evaluation and approval. As a third-party independent financing source, financers did not manufacture or supply the computer equipment. Instead, the brokers, like Raymond, arranged for the purchase and delivery of the equipment to the customers, who then leased that equipment from the financers.
Raymond targeted financially-distressed small business customers throughout the country and offered them leases for computer equipment. Typically, the customers Raymond targeted were seeking a cash infusion for operating expenses and had no immediate needs for computer equipment. Nonetheless, Raymond enticed customers by offering lease deals that included large cash rebates and long-term payback options. Raymond falsely assured customers that this was a common and legitimate practice, and that they could always sell the computer equipment if they chose to. The cash rebates and payback options offered by Raymond were not known to or approved by the financers.
Raymond executed the lease agreements with the customers and then submitted the leases and invoices to a financer. If approved, the financer paid Raymond a lump sum payment which was intended to represent the cost of the computer equipment to be supplied by Raymond, plus a small fee to be retained by Raymond as profit. After the leases were signed and approved by the financer, Raymond instructed the customers to falsify documents representing that the computer equipment was delivered, installed and working properly at their business locations when, in fact, no equipment had been delivered or installed. These false declarations enabled Raymond to be paid by the financer. After Raymond obtained payment from the financers, he wired the cash rebates to the customers from his business checking account. Raymond sometimes did ship computer equipment to the customers. However, whereas the leases called for name brand computer servers and hardware valued between $30,000 - $100,000, Raymond sent generic computer parts valued at $50 - $3,500.
Raymond’s was affiliated with businesses, including Integrity IT Solutions, Inc. (“IITS”), Logos Consulting, LLC (“Logos”), Lendberry Corp. (“Lendberry”), US Server Supply (“USSS”), Online Concepts Inc. (“OC”), Referral Marketing Services (“RMS”), Sandriver Group, Inc. (“Sandriver”), Business Repair Consultants (“BRC”), and Buyback Funders, LLC (“Buyback”).
Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle accepted the plea. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney
Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No.