VALDOSTA, Georgia (WRBL) – Southwest Georgia businessman and tractor supply company owner who pleaded guilty to orchestrating a complex fraud involving millions of dollars in loans from multiple creditors has been sentenced prison and compensate his victims for his crime.
Rickey Carter, 60, of Nashville, Ga., Was sentenced to 63 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Hugh Lawson on Wednesday, September 15, after pleading guilty to bank fraud.
The court also ordered Carter to pay more than $ 6.3 million in restitution to banks and creditors who were defrauded, as well as to the US Small Business Administration. There is no parole in the federal system.
According to court records, Carter was the president and CEO of Nashville Tractor (NTI), a company that sold and leased farm and construction equipment, attachments and parts.
In 2016, he obtained a US Small Business Administration (SBA) loan from Farmers and Merchants Bank (FMB) for a principal amount of $ 5,000,000. At the same time, NTI obtains a new line of credit and signs a credit agreement with BKW in the amount of $ 625,000.
In 2010, Carter had entered into an ongoing wholesale and safety finance agreement with CNH Industrial Capital America, LLC (CNH) to fund NTI’s inventory purchases for retail or rental.
It also entered into a Retail Finance Agreement (RFA) with CNH under which CNH would purchase NTI’s stake in retail contracts for the purchase of agricultural and construction equipment with retail customers. The CNH deal was a primary source of agricultural and construction equipment inventory for NTI.
Carter was able to continue NTI’s operations and other loan agreements were made with a number of other banks and funding entities. In each case of a loan with the banks, Carter was required to provide true and complete financial information to the banks and was required to provide ongoing information for line of credit drawdowns.
However, in 2015, NTI started having financial and cash flow issues, which made it difficult to pay off loans and payroll. During this time, Carter began to sell equipment she held in trust, but without paying cash to CNH and other creditors as required.
Carter sold at least 88 pieces of equipment valued at over $ 1.5 million subject to CNH collateral and sold other pieces of equipment securing funding from Kubota Credit Corporation, Ameris Bank, Bank of Alapaha and Diversified Financial Services.
As part of the fraud scheme, Carter falsified NTI’s financial records in order to inflate the company’s net worth. As part of the falsification of records, Carter sometimes instructed NTI employees to generate payment checks on accounts payable but not send the checks, thereby reducing accounts payable but not deducting checks from NTI accounts. In 2016, Carter falsified documents provided to FMB to secure the SBA loan and line of credit.
Carter also created fraudulent retail installment contracts for the sale or lease of numerous equipment with CNH using the names of real people whose information was available to Carter. These fraudulent contracts generated more than $ 1.2 million in payments to NTI.
Carter continued throughout the SBA loan period to provide false and fraudulent information. In total, Carter admitted to being responsible for an expected fraud loss totaling more than $ 3.5 million but not more than $ 9.5 million.
Carter is responsible for restoring actual monetary losses caused by the fraud to FMB ($ 1,227,319.66), SBA ($ 1,500,000), Ameris Bank ($ 321,934.50), Bank of Alapaha ($ 150,000 ), CNH ($ 2,782,959.99), KCC ($ 185,993.32) and Diversified Financial Services ($ 228,399.92).
“Hitting banks by lying to get millions of dollars in loans undermines the integrity of the banking system and puts businesses – and the people they employ – at risk,” Acting US Attorney Peter D. Leary.
He went on to say, “Our office and law enforcement will work to hold fraudsters accountable and protect citizens from fraud.”
“This conviction recognizes the importance of holding the accused accountable for orchestrating a fraudulent scheme to obtain millions of dollars in loans from these banks,” said the special agent in charge, Kyle A. Myles of the Office of the United Nations. Inspector General of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC -BIG).
Myles also said, “The FDIC-OIG remains committed to working with our law enforcement partners to investigate financial crimes that threaten the integrity of the banking industry. “
“No matter how elaborate or complicated the fraud scheme is, the FBI and our federal partners will find out and unravel it to protect American citizens and businesses from further harm and strive to recoup their losses,” Chris said. Hacker, special agent in charge of FBI Atlanta. .
He went on to say, “Carter will be held responsible for the damage he caused, sending a message that fraud is a serious crime with serious consequences.”