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Justice News

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

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Nicholas County Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Fraud Charge

BECKLEY, W.Va. – James Woods, Jr., 48, of Craigsville, pleaded guilty today to wire fraud. 

At the plea hearing, Woods admitted that in May of 2016, he applied for a line of credit at a commercial equipment supplier in Beckley.  When Woods applied for a line of credit, he fraudulently did so under the name of another construction business that Woods did not actually own.  Woods admitted to the Court that he did not have permission from the owner of the business to apply for the line of credit at this store to lease commercial construction equipment.  The credit application was transmitted to Cross Lanes and eventually out of West Virginia where it was approved for $10,000.  Woods then used the line of credit to lease a CASE Model 850 bulldozer and it was delivered to a jobsite that Woods controlled.  Once the owner of the business learned about the fraudulent line of credit, the equipment rental store was contacted and the bulldozer was recovered by the West Virginia State Police and the equipment provider.   

Woods faces as much as 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on March 18, 2022.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and credited the investigative work of the Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General who uncovered the fraud in conjunction with a larger fraud investigation.  The West Virginia State Police also helped with the equipment recovery.

United States District Judge Frank W. Volk presided over the plea hearing.  Assistant United States Attorneys Erik S. Goes and Kathleen Robeson handled the prosecution.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:20-cr-00001.





Updated December 9, 2021