Debt-collection exec sentenced to more than 4 years in prison

Todd Wolfe, who was indicted on federal fraud charges in 2015 following the collapse of Fishers collection agency Deca Financial Services LLC, has been sentenced to 51 months in prison.

Wolfe, 54, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud, bank fraud and bankruptcy fraud charges, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

In addition, Wolfe must serve three years of supervised release following his prison sentence and make restitution of more than $5 million to his victims.
Wolfe had faced as much as 30 years in prison for the bank fraud charges, the most serious count against him.

Wolfe founded in Deca Financial in 2009. The company, which at one time employed about 75 people, collected delinquent loans for health care, education and financial services.

For a time, Deca appeared to thrive. In 2011, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Deca up to $2.5 million in tax credits based on the company’s promise to create 270 jobs by 2015. Deca had collected only $64,000 of those credits before the incentive was rescinded.

But Deca’s creditors forced it into bankruptcy in 2014, saying the company owed key vendors $935,000.

Following a joint investigation by the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee and the FBI, Wolfe was indicted on federal charges.

The bank-fraud charge concerns a line of credit that Deca obtained from BMO Harris Bank. BMO Harris originally approved Deca for a $1 million line of credit in 2010. Wolfe presented the bank with fraudulent financial information in order to secure increases in that line of credit, which by 2013 stood at $7.5 million, court filings say.

Affidavits say he used some of the money from the line of credit to make payments on his personal residence, an automobile, personal credit cards and a lake house. 

The bankruptcy fraud charge relates to information Wolfe presented during bankruptcy proceedings in 2014. Wolfe falsely claimed he had a living trust worth $14.5 million that would be available to repay creditors, according to court records. The actual value of the trust was $52,000. 

The wire fraud charges relate to an agreement Wolfe signed with an investor in June 2013. The investor sent Wolfe $1 million in two separate wire transfers to purchase 5 percent of Deca’s stock. Wolfe put that money in his personal account and the investor never received the stock, the indictment says. Wolfe used some of the money to purchase an automobile, investigators said.

“Today’s sentence reaffirms the FBI’s commitment to finding those who use their positions of trust to pad their pockets and enhance their lifestyle by defrauding financial institutions,” W. Jay Abbott, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis Division, said in written comments. “I applaud the hard work of our agents and those of the Southern Indiana Bankruptcy Fraud group who dedicated many hours to this case.”

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