U.S. Attorney’s Office
March 16, 2012
Western District of North Carolina
Orlando Man Sentenced to 84 Months in Prison on Wire Fraud Charges
The Defendant Bilked Elderly Investors out of Their Savings
ASHEVILLE, NC—An Orlando, Florida man was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger to serve seven years in a federal prison after pleading guilty to a wire fraud charge, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
U.S. Attorney Tompkins is joined in making today’s announcement by Chris Briese, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Reidinger also sentenced the defendant to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $789,649 in restitution.
In October 2010, a federal criminal indictment charged Terry Scott Hyder, 51, with one count of wire fraud. Hyder pled guilty to the charge in February 2011. According to filed court documents, the plea agreement and court proceedings, from about June 2007 through about July 2010, Hyder engaged in a fraudulent investment scheme which defrauded elderly individuals residing in Polk County in North Carolina and in Orlando, Florida out of their savings. To carry out his fraudulent investment scheme, Hyder established and maintained Sterling and Stratford, LLC (“Sterling”), a limited liability corporation organized in the state of Florida. Hyder convinced his victims to invest with Sterling by making fraudulent representations to his victims that Sterling was a legitimate business engaged in multiple investment vehicles that yielded high rates of return on short term investments. A total of nine victim investors were involved in Hyder’s fictitious investment scam.
Court documents indicate that Hyder, who met many of his victims in connection with Alzheimer’s support groups and other church-sponsored functions, told his victims to invest through “real estate trusts,” which he purportedly set up in the victims’ names. These trust documents memorialized the amount of money each victim provided to Sterling, as well as the alleged rate of return. After entering into these fictitious real estate agreements, victims were sent account statements which reflected the fictitious amounts of interest accrued. In fact, victims never accrued any interest and no monies where ever actually invested by Hyder. Instead, Hyder used the money to pay for personal expenses, and made no legitimate efforts to invest any of the money on behalf of the individual victims. Hyder collected a total of $789,000 from his nine victims.
Hyder has been in local federal custody since he was arrested in August 2010. He will be transferred into custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility, where he will serve his sentence without the possibility of parole.
The investigation into Hyder was handled by the FBI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Corey Ellis of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville.