MONROE, La. – Avery Antron Goins, 44, of Monroe, has been sentenced for wire fraud and bankruptcy fraud, announced United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown. Goins was sentenced by United States District Judge Terry A. Doughty to 60 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, for these offenses. Goins was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $90,000.
Goins worked in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana, in the auto brokerage and sales industry. According to information introduced in court, Goins registered two companies with the Louisiana Secretary of State, Avery’s Auto Brokerage in 2006 and 2nd Chance Auto LLC in 2017. Since approximately the fall of 2013, Goins and his company were placed on a listing of restricted car dealers due in part because of the frequency in which he issued insufficient checks for vehicle sales transactions. Goins had deposit accounts at various financial institutions.
In January 2019, Goins established accounts with JPMorgan Chase Bank and Regions Bank in the name of 2nd Chance Auto LLC (“2nd Chance”) and made an initial cash deposit of $100 into the Regions Bank account. Goins also applied for an account in the name of 2nd Chance with Elavon, Inc. (“Elavon”), a credit card processor who processed its merchant customers’ credit card transactions, and this account was tied to his Regions Bank account for deposits, credit card chargebacks, and otherwise.
Between January 23, 2019, and February 28, 2019, the Elavon account had 33 suspicious credit card transactions on 32 individual credit card numbers all containing the same first eight digits. During this period, Goins attempted to credit a total of $138,800.00 in fraudulent credit card transactions at 2nd Chance’s Regions Bank account using his Elavon merchant terminal. One such transaction occurred on February 5, 2019, when Goins, as the sole employee of his car sales business, conducted a credit card transaction of $4,200. This credit card transaction was conducted by keying in the credit card number belonging to M.K.G., a Tampa, Florida resident. Goins did not have the authorization of M.K.G. when he charged $4,200 to M.K.G.’s account, nor did he sell M.K.G. a vehicle in exchange for this financial transaction. For each of the fraudulent 33 credit card transactions, thousands of dollars were credited to 2nd Chance’s Regions Bank account despite Goins not having the credit card, nor having the owner’s authorization, nor did he sell any vehicles in exchange. Elavon suffered a loss of approximately $40,700 and Goins’ merchant account was eventually closed.
Goins filed for bankruptcy protection on or about June 6, 2019, seeking Chapter 7 relief, and thus he had a duty to disclose all assets and debts. A couple of months before his bankruptcy filing, Goins deposited two checks totaling $160,000 into the Regions Bank account for 2nd Chance. These checks purportedly represented the proceeds from the sale of 10-14 vehicles to a Canadian purchaser. After depositing the checks, Goins began withdrawing thousands of dollars from the account. However, Regions Bank eventually determined Goins had deposited two counterfeit checks. As a result, Regions Bank suffered a loss of approximately $50,000 when the account became overdrawn. When asked in his Bankruptcy Schedule E/F to disclose his creditors having unsecured claims, Goins omitted the debt owed to Regions Bank and Elavon which he had incurred between January 2019 and March 2019. His intentional omission of debt fraudulently incurred violated federal criminal and bankruptcy law. He pleaded guilty to the charges on May 31, 2023.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the United States Trustee’s Office, Region 5, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Cytheria D. Jernigan.
# # #