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PRESS RELEASE: Tallahassee Man, Charles R. Hood Sentenced to 30 Months for Conversion

U.S. Attorney’s Office
March 20, 2013

Northern District of Florida
(850) 942-8430

Tallahassee Man Sentenced to 30 Months for Conversion

PANAMA CITY, FL—Charles R. Hood, 59, of Tallahassee, Florida, was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison today for conversion of property listed as collateral on a mortgage loan.

On October 18, 2012, Hood pled guilty to a one-count information charging him with conversion of property pledged as collateral on a mortgage loan, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 658. Facts presented during the plea hearing revealed that Hood, owner of Fidelity Foods LLC, was working as a peanut broker. On January 7, 2008, Hood signed a loan agreement with Farm Credit of Northwest Florida (hereinafter “Farm Credit”) allowing him to receive a revolving line of credit of up to $5 million. As collateral on the loan, Hood pledged, among other things, peanuts that he or his company held at warehouses and/or shelling plants. After receiving a line of credit from Farm Credit throughout 2008, Hood subsequently defaulted on the loan. Afterwards, Farm Credit attempted to recover their losses by claiming the peanuts pledged as collateral on the loan. However, Farm Credit subsequently learned that between on or about January 7, 2008, and on or about January 23, 2009, Hood had used peanuts that were listed as collateral on Hood’s loan agreement with Farm Credit to settle an outstanding $2,100,838.83 business debt that he owed to another company.

As part of his sentence, United States District Judge Richard Smoak also imposed three years’ supervised release. In addition, Hood agreed to pay $2,456,720.97 in restitution to the victim, Farm Credit, which represented the outstanding balance owed on his loan.

The sentence was announced today by Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida. Ms. Marsh praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in this matter. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Ryan Love.

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