Credit collection firm’s founder sentenced in fraud case

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The founder of a Fishers credit collections company was sentenced to 51 months in prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud, bank fraud and bankruptcy fraud charges, the U.S. attorney said Thursday.

Since 2009, Todd J. Wolfe , 54, operated DECA Financial Services in Fishers, said a news release from U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler. DECA was a full-service credit collections company, which at one time employed nearly 75 people and whose principal activity was to collect delinquent loans for health care, student loans and financial services.

On two occasions, Wolfe filed false financial reports to BMO Harris bank inflating the assets of his company, the release said. The false reports allowed Wolfe to obtain lines of credit, which he in turn used for personal expenses. Over 2-1/2 years, the credit extended to Wolfe increased from $1 million to $7.5 million. Affidavits show he used some of the money to make payments on his personal residence, an automobile, personal credit card accounts and a lake house.

In June 2013, Wolfe agreed to sell a person $1 million in DECA stock, which represented 5 percent ownership in the company, the release said. The victim was never repaid anything for his stock purchase. Wolfe used some of the $1 million to purchase a 2011 Audi 5S automobile.

In February 2014, creditors forced Wolfe into bankruptcy, the release said. An attorney representing Wolfe and DECA filed a motion with the court stating Wolfe had a living trust worth over $14 million, which could be used to repay creditors. The actual value of the trust was $52,000. The misrepresentation delayed the appointment of an independent trustee to oversee the operation of and access to books and records.

Winfield Ong, criminal chief for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said Wolfe must serve three years of supervised release following his sentence and make restitution of $5,023,613 to his victims.

“Defrauding a financial institution effects all honest, hardworking individuals,” U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler said in a news release. “Anyone who uses their position to abuse the public’s trusts will be held strictly accountable.”

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