CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – A federal grand jury returned a five-count indictment charging Russell Lucius Laffitte with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and financial institution fraud, financial institution fraud, wire fraud, and misapplication of lender money.
The indictment alleges that Laffitte conspired with a financial institution buyer to commit wire fraud and bank fraud. The indictment alleges that through the conspiracy, Laffitte served as an personnel, officer, or director of the Palmetto Point out Lender (“PSB”), and the financial institution purchaser labored as a private injury lawyer at a legislation company in Hampton, South Carolina. Laffitte and the bank client engaged in a scheme to defraud the bank customer’s particular harm customers less than materially fake and fraudulent pretenses and by generating materially untrue representations. Laffitte and the bank customer conspired to get hold of revenue from the bank customer’s personalized damage consumers and the law business, revenue which was held at PSB.
Specially, the indictment alleges that Laffitte – although serving as conservator for the bank customer’s particular harm clients – extended $355,000 in personalized financial loans to himself and $990,000 in own loans to the financial institution consumer from cash held at PSB and belonging to the private damage consumers. Laffitte realized that the money loaned to the financial institution purchaser have been made use of to protect hundreds of hundreds of dollars in overdraft on the financial institution customer’s personal account. The indictment further alleges that Laffitte realized that the lender buyer made use of money stolen from other private harm shoppers to pay back back again the loans. Laffitte, as conservator or own agent for the personal personal injury clientele, been given disbursement checks from the regulation firm, then negotiated and dispersed the cash according to and at the lender customer’s way. At the lender customer’s route, Laffitte transferred the disbursed settlement money into financial institution revenue orders, income, and other wire transfers. The indictment alleges that Laffitte gathered $391,781.07 in charges for serving as conservator and own agent.
The indictment further alleges that on two situations, Laffitte, as an officer and director of PSB, willfully misapplied lender cash. Particularly, on October 28, 2021, Laffitte paid out the regulation agency $680,000 devoid of recognize to or consent from PSB, understanding that he experienced fraudulently transferred the cash to the lender purchaser. Final, the indictment alleges that on July 15, 2021, Laffitte willfully misapplied $750,000 of lender cash by extending a business financial loan to the bank buyer understanding that the financial loan was primarily unsecured and that the financial loan proceeds would be and have been employed to shell out an attorney and to include hundreds of 1000’s of pounds in overdraft on the lender customer’s private account. Laffitte faces a utmost phrase of imprisonment of 30 years on all costs.
The circumstance was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), South Carolina Legislation Enforcement Division (“SLED”), and South Carolina Legal professional General’s Office environment. Assistant U.S. Legal professional Emily Limehouse is prosecuting this situation.
U.S. Attorney Corey F. Ellis mentioned that all charges in the indictment are basically accusations and that the Defendant is presumed innocent until and until finally demonstrated guilty.