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Brian Luke Community Blogger, WGRZ-TV

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Former Chief Executive Officer of Construction Supply Company Convicted in Bank Fraud Scheme



U.S. Attorney’s OfficeDecember 30, 2011
  • Eastern District of New York
BROOKLYN, NY—Following three weeks of trial, a federal jury in Brooklyn today returned guilty verdicts against Courtney Dupree, the former chief executive officer at GDC Acquisitions, on charges of bank fraud, false statements, and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. These charges arose out of the defendant’s scheme to defraud Amalgamated Bank, GDC’s asset-based lender, of $21 million in fraudulent loans. When sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison on the most serious charge. The jury also acquitted Thomas Foley, GDC’s former chief operating officer.
The verdicts were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
GDC, based in Long Island City, Queens, is a holding company that owns various subsidiaries, including JDC Lighting, a lighting distributor; Unalite Electric and Lighting, a lighting maintenance company; and Hudson Bay Environments Group, a furniture distributor. The evidence included the testimony of GDC’s former chief financial officer and two GDC accountants, all three of whom had previously pleaded guilty to fraud charges arising from the scheme. At trial, the government proved Dupree and others gave Amalgamated Bank false financial information for GDC in which they had fraudulently inflated the company’s accounts receivables in order to obtain initially, and then maintain, credit lines totaling approximately $21 million. For example, the defendant represented to Amalgamated Bank in writing in November 2009 that GDC had $25.2 million in accounts receivables when, in fact, it had only $9 million. The evidence proved that the conspirators inflated the accounts receivables by a variety of means, including by recording fake sales that had never taken place in the corporate books. According to the trial testimony, the scheme unraveled when one of the accountants turned himself into the FBI and cooperated in the government’s investigation in an undercover capacity for approximately two months.
“The defendant Courtney Dupree defrauded an FDIC insured bank out of millions of dollars by lying about his company’s financial condition,” stated U.S. Attorney Lynch. “Executives who abuse positions of influence and trust should expect to be investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
U.S. Attorney Lynch extended her grateful appreciation to the FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the agencies responsible for leading the government’s criminal investigation.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David C. Woll and Michael L. Yaeger, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Morris.
This case was brought in coordination with President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes. For more information about the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.

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