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Lowcountry man sentenced to over 5 years for fraud scheme

Staff Report //May 20, 2020//

Lowcountry man sentenced to over 5 years for fraud scheme

Staff Report //May 20, 2020//

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A federal judge has sentenced a Lowcountry man to over five years in prison for a fraud scheme that stole over a million dollars from dozens of people between 2016 and 2018.

Todd Vannatta, 43, was indicted by a federal grand jury in December 2018 for illegally soliciting investments in his businesses by misrepresenting whether others had already invested, how much of a financial investment he had in the businesses and whether he had certain goods under his control.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina, Vannatta stole over $1 million from approximately 28 investors.

During the time of this scheme, Vannatta was on supervised release for a conviction from the Southern District of Indiana for defrauding banks in that state out of more than $10 million (.pdf).

Vannatta pleaded guilty to wire fraud in November and agreed to forfeit $55,752.38 from two S.C. bank accounts, $5,000 in cash, two $50,000 cashier’s checks and a Cessna 421B airplane.

U.S. District Judge David Norton sentenced Vannatta to 51 months for his fraud conviction, along with 10 months for violating his supervised release. Norton ruled the 10 months are to be served consecutive to the 51. Vannatta’s time in prison will be followed by three years of court-ordered supervision.

Vannatta must also pay $1 million in restitution to his victims.

The sentencing was conducted virtually because of the coronavirus.