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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Prince George Man Pleads Guilty to Multimillion Dollar Fraud Scheme

RICHMOND, Va. – A Prince George man pleaded guilty yesterday to tax fraud and executing a conspiracy to defraud individual lenders, financial institutions, and his employer out of almost $9 million.

According to court documents, from 2012 to 2020, Robert W. Guidry, 54, conspired with Christopher W. Elko, 51, Petersburg, to enrich themselves by, among other methods, falsely purporting to sell ownership interests in businesses where the conspirators worked, obtaining fraudulent loans and other forms of credit from individual lenders and financial institutions, and embezzling money from their employer. As part of the conspiracy, Guidry solicited and induced individuals to lend him money under false pretenses, claiming that the loans would be used for investment purposes—when, in fact, Guidry actually used the money to pay for personal expenses or to repay other lenders.

The conspirators also obtained loans and lines of credit from various financial institutions, relying on misrepresentations and deliberate omissions about Guidry’s personal financial status, such as the value of his assets and the amount of his liabilities. To repay the individual lenders and financial institutions they had fraudulently borrowed money from, and to pay their own personal expenses, the conspirators concocted a scheme to defraud their employer by misappropriating money through various frauds. For instance, the conspirators diverted customer payments owed to their employer to a bank account controlled by the conspirators, and fabricated payables to their employers’ vendors and others, depositing the payments into bank accounts they controlled.

In total, the conspirators' actions caused a total loss of more than $8.8 million to investors, banks, and their former employer.

Guidry is scheduled to be sentenced on September 7, 2022.  He faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Stanley M. Meador, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office; and Darrell J. Waldon, Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), made the announcement after U.S. District Judge David J. Novak accepted the plea.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kashan K. Pathan and Thomas A. Garnett and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Lee Martin prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:22-cr-42.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Contact: 
USAVAE.Press@usdoj.gov
Updated May 3, 2022