GREENEVILLE, TN—On June 12, 2012, Tommy Eugene Blair, 61, of Bluff City (formerly of Johnson City) and Tina Rogers, 44, of Bristol, were each sentenced to serve 46 months in prison for federal bank fraud, bank fraud conspiracy, and perjury. The two were convicted of these charges in U.S. District Court in Greeneville, in August 2011.
In addition to the prison sentences, the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Court Judge, ordered Blair and Rogers to pay restitution to TruPoint Bank and $300 each in special assessments. Upon their release from prison, both will also serve three years on supervised release.
Information at the sentencing hearing revealed that in 2006, Blair and Rogers conspired with Sam Clark to defraud TruPoint Bank. Blair sold Clark car wash businesses located in Johnson City and Clark obtained financing for the purchase from TruPoint Bank. Rogers acted as the broker for the loan on behalf of Clark. Blair, Clark, and Rogers inflated the sales price from $3.4 million to $4.2 million, submitted fake earnest money checks totaling $465,000, submitted an altered Schedule C that grossly overstated the properties’ ability to service the debt, and falsely represented that Blair provided seller financing of $210,000 via a false promissory note. Immediately after the loan closing, Blair paid Clark a kickback of $125,000, which was not disclosed to the lending bank. Clark defaulted on the loan within two months after it closed. TruPoint Bank incurred a loss for sentencing purposes of $2.7 million and incurred an actual loss of $4.2 million.
During sentencing, Judge Greer noted that both Blair and Rogers used sophisticated means to defraud the bank and that both knowingly remained silent during the loan closing when the terms of the deal were reviewed by the closing attorney. He cited the numerous false documents that they generated or signed and submitted to the bank in support of the loan. He also stated the need for a sentence to deter others from fraudulent conduct on financial institutions, which are vital to the nation’s economy.
The indictment and subsequent conviction of Blair and Rogers were the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Helen Smith represented the United States during the litigation.