Wynde Collins sentenced to 121 months for expansive loan fraud scheme


Date: June 8, 2023

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Knoxville, TN — On June 8, 2023, Wynde Collins of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to 121 months by the Honorable Katherine A. Crytzer, United States District Judge, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Following a 12-day jury trial, which concluded on October 20, 2022, Collins was convicted of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349, six counts of bank fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1344 and 2, and conspiracy to commit money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1956(h). Following her imprisonment, Collins will be on supervised release for three years. Collins was ordered to pay $855,374.21 in restitution to the victims' financial institutions in this case and was further ordered to forfeit $100,000 of the fraud proceeds she personally obtained.

According to court documents and evidence presented during trial, investigators uncovered evidence of a fraudulent loan scheme during an investigation into a large-scale drug trafficking organization. From June 2014 through December 2019, Collins directed the scheme to defraud financial institutions by falsifying employment, income, and collateral information on auto loan and mortgage loan applications with credit unions and banks. Once the financial institutions funded the loans, Collins directed others, including co-conspirators to launder the loan proceeds. In total, over two million in fraudulent loans were funded.

Co-defendant Alvin Johnson, an automobile broker who conspired with Collins, entered into a plea agreement with the United States and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 7, 2023.

"Collins' fraud scheme caused financial hardship to individuals and exploited the loan practices of credit unions, all while the defendant enriched herself," stated U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Francis M. Hamilton III. "It is critical that such fraudsters be stopped, and our office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to target criminal fraudulent activity."

"Illegal activity involving fraudulent loans has brought financial hardship to banks, credit unions and individual borrowers, "stated Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Special Agent in Charge, Charlotte Field Office, Donald "Trey" Eakins III. "IRS Criminal investigation is committed to using our accounting skills to help unravel complex fraud and money laundering schemes. We are proud to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute individuals who attempt to enrich themselves by fraudulent means, and to help put a stop to this and other types of white-collar crime."

This case was the result of an investigation by the IRS– Criminal Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The investigation was led by IRS Special Agent Meredith Louden and DEA Task Force Office Nathan Stinnett.

Assistant United States Attorneys Anne-Marie Svolto and Jennifer Kolman represented the United States.