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Bowling Alley Project Ends In Guilty Plea To Federal Fraud Charges

A 68-year-old Raleigh man pled guilty to six counts related to bank fraud and identity theft midway through his jury trial in U.S. District Court in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. His plan had been to open a bowling and family entertainment center in Mebane, North Carolina. The site he had chosen for the new bowling center was part of strip mall and had previously been used for retail space. Substantial remodeling was necessary in order to turn the space into a bowling alley.

He himself did not have enough cash or assets for the banks to consider him an acceptable risk. He sought out another, high-asset individual to back his bowling alley project, but he or she would not get onboard. Instead of abandoning his plans, however, the man committed federal fraud when he submitted falsified documents and paperwork with forged signatures to secure the loans needed.

In total, the man used falsified and forged documents to attempt to secure almost $6.5 million in commercial financing. The financing package would have included a mortgage from Key Source Bank, a construction loan from Capital Bank, and commercial lines of credit from North State Bank and TrustAtlantic Bank.

The aspiring bowling alley and family entertainment center owner and operator has not yet been sentenced. There was no information as to whether a deal was struck with federal prosecutors when the guilty plea was made midway through trial.

Bank fraud carries a maximum prison sentence of 30 years for each count, with supervised release for five years after the prison sentence is completed. Aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory two year sentence.

Source: Mortgage Daily, "Raleigh Man Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud and Identity Theft Scheme," April 24, 2012

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