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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Treyton Thomas Charged In Multi-Million Dollar Investment Fraud Scheme

RALEIGH – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina announces that TREYTON LEE THOMAS, age 60, appeared today before a federal magistrate judge, in Charlottesville, Virginia, and was advised that he had been charged in an Indictment, returned by a grand jury in the Eastern District of North Carolina, with wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering.  When federal law enforcement agents and the Albemarle County police officers went to arrest him, THOMAS was armed and attempted to flee.  The government has moved for pretrial detention.  THOMAS elected to challenge the government’s detention motion in Charlottesville.  The hearing is scheduled for Monday, December 5, 2016, in Charlottesville.

The Indictment alleges that THOMAS, who represented himself as a successful Harvard educated investment advisor, defrauded his father’s business, NC&VA Warranty of Roxboro, North Carolina, and several of its customers of millions of dollars by promising to invest their money in United States Treasury Bills.  NC&VA sold warranties through used car dealerships and administered warranties sold by others, including Auto Protection Plus of Whiteville and Matthews Motors of Clayton.  The money THOMAS promised to conservatively invest was set aside to cover all warranty claims if the premiums were insufficient.  THOMAS, contrary to his promises and representations, either lost the money in risky trading in commodities, futures and foreign exchange markets or funded his extravagant lifestyle in Naples, Florida. THOMAS’s wife and father-in-law also invested with him, believing they were purchasing T-Bills.  According to the Indictment, their money was similarly lost in risky trading or spent by THOMAS.

The on-line brokerage firms THOMAS used to conduct the trades were opened in the name of a Cayman Island corporation, Marbury Advisors.  To assure his investors that the money was invested in T-Bills, THOMAS provided them and the banks that were monitoring the investments, US Bank and Fidelity Bank of Fuquay-Varina, with false information, misleading documents and fabricated statements. 

THOMAS was also charged with three counts of bank fraud and one count of making a false statement to a financial institution relating to nearly 1.5 million dollars fraudulently obtained in loans from Wachovia and Southern Bank and Trust.  Three additional counts of the Indictment charge THOMAS with money laundering, conducting financial transactions in excess of $10,000 with proceeds of the wire fraud scheme. 

According to the Indictment, THOMAS lost more than $4,500,000 and spent more than $1,600,000 of the fraud proceeds to pay personal expenses.  

Each wire and bank fraud count carries a maximum penalty of 30 years’ incarceration and a $1,000,000 fine.  The money laundering counts carry a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.  The Indictment also contained a notice that the government intends to seek the forfeiture of approximately $7.2 million from THOMAS upon conviction.          

The charges and allegations contained in the Indictment are merely accusations.  The defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

The case is being investigated by the Federal Deposit and Insurance Corporation, the Internal Revenue Service and the United States Secret Service.

Updated November 30, 2016