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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Fort Myers Man Sentenced For Check-Kiting Bank Fraud Scheme

Fort Myers, Florida – U.S. District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell today sentenced Roger Eugene Hagood (44, Fort Myers) to four years in federal prison for bank fraud. As part of the sentence, the Court also entered a money judgment in the amount of $677,722, the proceeds of the fraud. Hagood pleaded guilty on November 17, 2015.

According to court documents, Hagood operated Coral Palm Auto Sales, a used car dealership. Coral Palm Auto Sales received financing through a third-party lender to purchase automobiles. Vehicle titles were provided as security to procure the loans, and loan payments were made using proceeds from the vehicle sales. Once each loan was paid in full, the third-party lender would release the vehicle titles used to secure the loan back to Coral Palm Auto Sales.   

In November and December 2011, Hagood engaged in a check-kiting scheme by writing 13 checks, totaling $1,592,121, on his business checking account, made payable to the third-party lender, knowing that the account lacked sufficient funds to cover the checks. As a result, the third-party lender wrote new loan checks on its account made payable to Coral Palm Auto Sales. Hagood’s scheme caused two federally insured banks to suffer a total loss of $1,037,770.01.

On March 29, 2015, Hagood attempted to surreptitiously dispose of 20 banker’s boxes containing records and documents pertaining to Coral Palm Auto Sales by throwing them in a dumpster located more than a mile from his residence. A video surveillance camera partially captured Hagood attempting to dispose of the boxes. The boxes were retrieved by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and turned over to the FBI. A portion of the records and documents that Hagood tried to destroy were responsive to a federal subpoena previously served on him earlier that month.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey F. Michelland.

Topic: 
Financial Fraud
Updated February 17, 2016