NASHVILLE – A federal indictment was unsealed today, charging Chad William Rudicel, 52, formerly of Springfield, Tennessee, with seven counts of wire fraud, one count of mail fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft, a announced Acting U.S. Attorney Mary Jane Stewart for the Middle District of Tennessee. Rudicel was arrested by FBI agents at his home in Largo, Florida earlier this morning.
According to the indictment, Rudicel owned Ellis & Rudicel Welding (E&R), a steel fabrication and welding company located in Springfield, Tennessee. In the summer of 2015, Rudicel offered to buy Brown’s Welding and Steel Services / Brown Cliff Crane (Brown’s Welding), another welding and steel fabrication company. The business owner gave Rudicel access to the business books and records so that Rudicel could have the business valued. Rudicel never bought Brown’s Welding, but in the spring of 2016 Rudicel applied for funding from Thermo Communications Funding, LLC (Thermo). As part of the loan deal, Rudicel falsely claimed that E&R performed work for Brown’s Welding in the amount of $ 279,700. In fact, E&R had done no work for Brown’s Welding, and Brown’s Welding owed E&R no money. Rudicel gave Thermo fabricated invoices and forged the signature of the owner of Brown’s Welding on a number of documents. Additionally, Rudicel falsely told Thermo that the owner of Brown’s Welding had consented to the transaction. Rudicel did not repay the loan to Thermo but instead took out another loan in the amount of $ 25,000 from an investment company called New Hope Properties, LLC, which he promised to repay in both. month. Rudicel opened a bank account in the name of “Brown’s Welding and Crane Service” and deposited the check into this account. He then wrote Thermo a check for $ 25,000 on that account, but that check was returned for insufficient funds because Rudicel had already spent the money he received from New Hope.
In March 2017, Rudicel applied for another loan, this time from Construction Finance LLC. Rudicel applied for this loan on behalf of the owner of Brown’s Welding, without his knowledge, and forged the owner’s signature on several documents. Rudicel provided Construction Finance with several false invoices and employment contracts which suggested that Brown’s Welding had entered into contracts with various clients and that Brown’s Welding had subcontracted this work to E&R. Rudicel falsely made it appear that E&R owed approximately $ 531,000. Several of these forged documents contained the forged signatures of an employee of Brown’s Welding and representatives of the alleged customers. In addition to the forged signatures, these invoices and contracts were false and fraudulent because neither E&R nor Brown’s Welding had contracted with these customers or completed the work, and none of these customers owed them any money.
If convicted, Rudicel faces a mandatory sentence of two years for each count of aggravated identity theft and up to 20 years and a fine of $ 250,000 for each count of wire fraud. and mail.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant US Attorney Kathryn W. Booth is pursuing the case.
An indictment is only an accusation. The accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court.
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