MEMPHIS—Ernest Draper, 42, of Collierville, Tennessee, pled guilty today to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States before United States District Judge Jon P. McCalla, announced Edward L. Stanton, III, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee. Draper faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and fine of $250,000 when he is sentenced on September 26, 2012.
According to the information filed during the plea hearing, Draper conspired with another individual to obtain funds under false pretenses and then conducted financial transactions with the proceeds of the scheme. Draper admitted that the scheme was to defraud American General Finance Company by obtaining a $40,000 loan and Wells Fargo Bank by obtaining a $41,132.50 loan. Draper told both companies the loans were to purchase a Mercedes CLS500 vehicle. The information charges that Draper submitted with his loan application to Wells Fargo a fraudulent 2006 tax return claiming he had gross income of $220,815 and that he had made a $20,000 cash down payment on the vehicle.
Draper admitted that he gave the funds to another individual to deposit into a bank account. The funds were then used to purchase a 2004 Bentley at the Memphis Auto Auction that had been previously repossessed from Draper by Kemba Federal Credit Union.
This investigation was conducted by Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Secret Service, and IRS-Criminal Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John D. Fabian on behalf of the government.