Prince George man pleads guilty to multimillion dollar fraud scheme


Date: May 3, 2022


A Prince George, Virginia, man pleaded guilty May 2 to tax fraud and executing a conspiracy to defraud individual lenders, financial institutions, and his employer out of almost $9 million, after an IRS-CI and law enforcement partner investigation.

According to court documents, from 2012 to 2020, Robert W. Guidry conspired with Christopher W. Elko, Petersburg, Virginia, to enrich themselves by, among other methods, falsely purporting to sell ownership interests in businesses where the conspirators worked, obtaining fraudulent loans and other forms of credit from individual lenders and financial institutions, and embezzling money from their employer. As part of the conspiracy, Guidry solicited and induced individuals to lend him money under false pretenses, claiming that the loans would be used for investment purposes—when, in fact, Guidry actually used the money to pay for personal expenses or to repay other lenders.

The conspirators also obtained loans and lines of credit from various financial institutions, relying on misrepresentations and deliberate omissions about Guidry's personal financial status, such as the value of his assets and the amount of his liabilities. To repay the individual lenders and financial institutions they had fraudulently borrowed money from, and to pay their own personal expenses, the conspirators concocted a scheme to defraud their employer by misappropriating money through various frauds. For instance, the conspirators diverted customer payments owed to their employer to a bank account controlled by the conspirators, and fabricated payables to their employers' vendors and others, depositing the payments into bank accounts they controlled.

In total, the conspirators' actions caused a total loss of more than $8.8 million to investors, banks, and their former employer.

Guidry is scheduled to be sentenced on September 7, 2022. He faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Darrell J. Waldon, Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI); and Stanley M. Meador, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Richmond Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge David J. Novak accepted the plea.