El Dorado resident enters plea to federal bank fraud charges
Robert Graig “Bob” Smith, 55, of El Dorado, has entered pleas relating to a check-kiting scheme.
EL DORADO -- Robert Graig “Bob” Smith, 55, of El Dorado, has pled guilty to two counts of bank fraud.
U.S. Attorney Kenneth Elser said the guilty plea was accepted Friday by Federal Judge Susan O. Hickey in the United States District Court in El Dorado.
According to court records, with respect to the first count, Robert Smith was the owner and operator of Working Chemical Solutions, Inc (WCS), a Delaware corporation located in El Dorado.
Working Chemical Solutions, Inc., manufactured chemical products. One of its products was known as "C'mere Deer" also known as "Wild Game Attractant."
Smith obtained two loans and extensions to those loans for his company, WCS, through Timberland Bank in El Dorado. Timberland Bank secured these loans with a security interest in all stock and other instruments, general intangibles and contract rights, including, “C’mere Deer.” Smith subsequently sold the “C’mere Deer” formula, confidential information and trademarks to Environmental Science Technologies, LLC for $500,000 in December 2006. Smith paid Timberland Bank $149,035.21 out of the $500,000.00 and kept $350,964,79 for the use of WCS or his personal use.
With respect to the second count, Smith opened business checking accounts in the names of ATS Scientific Group of Louisiana, LLC and Wells Safety and Technical Products of Louisiana, LLC at First Guaranty Bank in Dubach, Louisiana. He also opened business checking accounts in the names of Gilbo, LLC and RCS Investment Trust at First Financial Bank in El Dorado.
In March of 2016, during an audit by First Financial Bank’s Internal Audit Department, it appeared that Smith was kiting checks between his Gilbo, LLC and RCS Investment Trust accounts at First Financial Bank and checks drawn on the ATS Scientific Group of Louisiana, LLC and Wells Safety and Technical Products of Louisiana, LLC accounts at First Guaranty Bank. On March 7, 2016, First Financial Bank placed holds on all unverified deposits. As a result of the holds, the checks presented for payment from First Guaranty Bank to First Financial Bank were returned and the checks deposited to First Financial Bank were returned from First Guaranty Bank.
Between March 9, 2016 and March 10, 2016, checks totaling $499,435 were charged back to ATS Scientific Group of Louisiana, LLC and Wells Safety and Technical Products of Louisiana, LLC accounts at First Guaranty Bank.
Elser said Smith’s sentence will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record (if any), the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violations. The sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases will be less than the maximum. Both counts carry a maximum penalty of 30 years imprisonment, a maximum fine of $1,000,000 or both.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Mark Webb is prosecuting the case for the United States
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