Ponte Vedra Man Sentenced To More Than Six Years In Prison For Investment Scheme
Jacksonville, Florida – Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan today sentenced Robert H. Hendricks (64, Ponte Vedra) to six years and six months in federal prison for wire fraud. As part of his sentence, the court also entered a money judgment of $2,682,924.34, the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct. In addition, the court ordered Hendricks to pay $3,879.881.34 in restitution.
Hendricks had pleaded guilty on September 28, 2020.
According to court documents, Hendricks was a licensed real estate broker in the Middle District of Florida. Hendricks told two of his victims, a husband and wife who were his longtime friends, that he had been successful with commercial property development and needed money for another commercial property deal in central Florida. In October 2014, the husband paid Hendricks $300,000 as an investment in two commercial property ventures. Hendricks never used the funds for an investment. Instead, he used the funds for his personal benefit.
On March 21, 2016, Hendricks received a wire of $200,000 from another victim, who was also a friend. Hendricks told that victim that Wawa, a chain of convenience stores and gas stations, was establishing locations in Jacksonville and offered the victim a deal for four to five stores. The victim believed that three of the five locations were completed based, in part, on a contract Hendricks provided referencing a Wawa at the St. Johns Town Center (SJTC), as well as other representations Hendricks made. However, the store at the SJTC had already been built at the time of the investment. Hendricks was not involved in that or any other project involving Wawa locations at the SJTC.
On April 18, 2016, Hendricks received a wire of $490,000 from a lender for a property he obtained from a longtime friend through misrepresentations. The victim had agreed to temporarily transfer the property to Hendricks to enable him to pay for cleanup and obtain special insurance, but Hendricks did not need to pay for any cleanup and no special insurance was required. Instead, once the property was in Hendricks’ name, he mortgaged the property for his benefit and failed to repay that loan. The lender then foreclosed the property and took title after an auction.
On February 13, 2017, Hendricks received a wire of $388,962.17 from a victim for another purported commercial property venture. Hendricks falsely claimed he had an interest in an LLC that owned a Home Depot and the victim could invest in it. However, the money went to an LLC Hendricks had created solely to further his scheme, and Hendricks did not own any interest in the unrelated LLC that actually owned the Home Depot.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ashley Washington.