Robert Craddock ordered to return $117,700 in fraud funds
Last month saw Robert Craddock plead guilty to two counts of wire fraud.
And now the Department of Justice is looking to collect…
Through a Motion For Forfeiture Judgement, the DOJ request that Craddock (right) pay back $117,700 he fraudulently obtained.
The United States asserts, and the defendant admitted, that the amount of proceeds obtained by the defendant from his wire fraud offenses is $117,700.
The defendant admitted in his Plea Agreement that on or about June 1, 2010, following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the defendant electronically transmitted through interstate commerce a Notice of Loss Report with BP claiming that Mail-Block.com Corporation was a $40,000 per year business that had lost revenue because of the oil spill.
According to the defendant, the decrease in Florida’s tourism industry following the oil spill led to a decrease in his lead sales business and could have led to the disconnection of servers for his e-mail service due to the lost revenue in the lead sales business.
Could have, but didn’t – making the assertion that an oil spill had an effect on an online lead generation business all the more preposterous.
(Craddock) claimed that, based on the oil spill, he had lost earnings of $117,660 over the previous six months.
(Craddock) provided documentation that indicated that his largest amount of sales in the previous six months had been $19,610 in March 2010.
The $117,660 figure was derived by multiplying the March 2010 number ($19,610) by six months.
(Craddock) provided invoices to support his claim, but investigations revealed that those invoices were fictitious and were generated by the defendant solely to support his claim and to defraud Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) out of monetary payments based on the claim.
Bank records show that only the following deposits were made into the defendant’s bank account in March 2010:
1) a cash deposit of $300.00;
2) a check from A**** A****** for $3,300.00;
3) a check from Okeechobee Painting for $1,000.00; and
4) a wire transfer from the City of Lakeland for $15,000.00.
Now sure, those transactions might add up to $19,600 (not sure where the extra $100 comes from), but there’s just one problem…
When interviewed by the U.S. Secret Service, (Craddock) admitted that the $3,300.00 check from A**** A****** and the $1,000.00 check from Okeechobee Painting were not related to his lead sales business.
Additionally, the $15,000.00 wire transfer was related to the defendant’s work brokering a failed business deal between Okeechobee Painting and the City of Lakeland.
So fraud, much entertaining.
BP transferred all claims arising from the oil spill to the GCCF on August 23, 2010.
The transfer included the (Craddock’s) claim, which was still being investigated.
(Craddock) received two payments by interstate wire from GCCF based on his claim.
The first of those payments was for $66,000 on September 7, 2010. The second payment from GCCF was for $51,700 on
October 4, 2010.
Combined, the payments totaled $117,700, which is the entire amount of lost earnings that (Craddock) claimed, rounded to the nearest $100.
And just incase you were curious, here’s what Craddock then did with the funds;
During a subsequent interview with the U.S. Secret Service, (Craddock)admitted that he used the money that GCCF transmitted to him to pay for items such as his mortgage, groceries, and cell phone.
The DOJ’s Forfeiture Motion was filed on the 17th of July and so ordered by Judge Presnell on July 20th.
Craddock now faces a sentencing hearing scheduled for September 14th, 2015. Stay tuned…
Update 5th August 2015 – Following the “suddenly ceased employment” by Craddock’s formerly assigned public defender, new counsel was appointed on July 24th.
Said counsel has requested an extension of
more time before the September 14, 2015 sentencing date to adequately review the materials and prepare a meaningful sentencing presentation in order to provide effective assistance of counsel to Mr. Craddock.
The request was granted and the Craddock’s sentencing hearing has now been rescheduled for October 26th.