The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Local woman indicted on federal fraud charges

  • A Leavenworth woman has been indicted on federal bank fraud charges, the U.S. attorney announced Thursday.
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  • A Leavenworth woman has been indicted on federal bank fraud charges, the U.S. attorney announced Thursday.
    Brenda Wood, 45, was indicted Wednesday on five counts of bank fraud, one count of theft from an employee benefit program, and four counts of willful violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, according to a news release from the office of Barry Grissom, U.S. attorney for Kansas.
    The indictment alleges the crimes took place while Wood owned several businesses including one in Kansas City, Mo. ― Professional Cleaning and Innovative Building Services Inc. ― and three in Bonner Springs ― Action Real Estate Services LLC, G&W Investments LLC, and Riverview Crossings LLC.
    The indictment alleges Wood obtained loans for herself and her companies through Farmers Bank in Overland Park by making false representations and submitting falsified documents to the bank, according to the release.
    The indictment alleges she obtained a loan on behalf of Riverview Crossings to purchase property in Bonner Springs in part by forging the signature of a second mortgage holder releasing the deed.
    Wood also is alleged to have submitted falsified invoices totaling more than $100,000 to support fraudulent draws on the Riverview Crossings loan.
    She allegedly obtained a loan on behalf of PCI to buy property in Basehor, in which she fraudulently inflated the purchase price to make it appear the loan met the bank’s loan-to-value ratio requirements, according to the release.
    She also is accused of obtaining a $350,000 line of credit in part by fraudulently representing to the lender that her company, PCI, was awarded a contract to provide cleaning services at an Internal Revenue Service building in Kansas City, Mo. Her company was not a finalist for the contract.
    The indictment also alleges Wood diverted more than $200,000 from an escrow account for PCI to her personal account.
    It's also alleged she set up a 401(k) plan for PCI and embezzled more than $30,000 from the plan.
    Wood also is accused of failing to file annual financial reports for the PCI 401(k) plan.
    Farmer’s Bank received $12 million from the U.S. Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program. In November 2012, the bank paid the U.S. Treasury approximately $11.4 million to redeem the funding, resulting in a shortfall of more than $500,000.
    If convicted, Wood faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $1 million on each of the bank fraud charges, a maximum penalty of five years and a fine up to $250,000 on the charge of theft from an employee benefit program, and a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on each count of violating ERISA, according to the release.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, the Special Investigator General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program and the FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jabari Wamble is prosecuting.