David E. Miller, 61, of Brentwood, Tennessee was convicted by a federal jury late Friday of two counts of making a false statement to a bank and two counts of aggravated identity theft, announced Jerry E. Martin, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee; Martin P. Phanco, Inspector in Charge, United States Postal Inspection Service; and Aaron T. Ford, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Memphis Division.
Specifically, the jury found Miller guilty of making false statements to First Bank in relation to a loan in the amount of $337,500 that Miller received in May 2007 and the renewal of that loan one year later. Miller was also found guilty of aggravated identity theft for using the forged names of two individuals in a document that Miller provided to First Bank for a personal loan.
Evidence at trial established that Miller had solicited investors for Fellowship Investors LLC for the purpose of purchasing a tract of land at 4426 Harpeth School Road in Williamson County, Tennessee. The land was to be held for future sale when it would have appreciated in value.
Fellowship Investors LLC was formed by Miller to hold title to the property that would be jointly owned by the investing members. Miller, who has worked as a real estate developer for three decades, told the investors that the property would be a cash deal and that the land would be held with no encumbrances. Instead, Miller sought a loan from First Bank in the amount of $337,500 to partially fund the purchase of the property. The $337,500 First Bank loan was made to the David E. Miller Development Company using the Fellowship Investors’ property pledged as collateral. Since the Fellowship Investors’ property would be titled in the name of Fellowship Investors LLC, First Bank required a resolution from all of the members of Fellowship Investors, with specific language in the resolution to document the knowledge and consent of all members for the land to be used as collateral for the loan to David E. Miller Development Company.
The resolution containing the names of all investors was prepared by the closing attorney in conjunction with First Bank and ultimately signed by Miller. However, Miller never advised the members that he had pledged the property as collateral for his loan. Miller instead used part of the proceeds of the loan for his personal benefit and to fund other ventures that he was managing at the time.
During the trial, Miller testified that he did not remember the resolution and did not remember signing it, although he did admit that it was his signature on the resolution. Further, Miller testified that he had not intended to use the real property as collateral for his loan and that he had only intended to use his capital contributing share in the property as collateral and that the bank had made a mistake. When asked about the Multipurpose Note and Security Agreement and Deed of Trust that he had signed pledging the real property, Miller testified that he did not realize what he was signing.
Miller faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine on each of the false statement charges and additional mandatory consecutive terms of two years on the aggravated identity theft charges. He is scheduled to be sentenced on December 10, 2012, by U.S. District Judge Marvin E. Aspen, a visiting judge from the Northern District of Illinois.
The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The United States is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sandra G. Moses and Kathryn B. Ward.