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RALEIGH, NC (USAO) — The United States Attorney’s Office announced that a Federal Grand Jury returned a 74-count Criminal Indictment on February 23, 2011, charging JAMES WALTER GODDARD, 40, of Wilmington, North Carolina, with bank fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1344; wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343; money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(a)(1); aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A; and obstruction of justice, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1519. The Indictment was unsealed at his Initial Appearance in federal court yesterday.

According to the Indictment, from 2005 to 2009, GODDARD submitted hundreds of false credit card and lines of credit applications in the names of multiple individuals or businesses to various banks. GODDARD, who called himself the Credit Doctor of North Carolina, met with individuals/business owners during which time they provided him some personal information including their full name, address, social security number, and date of birth.

Individual and business annual income was not discussed. GODDARD touted his specialized skills included obtaining credit for newly formed businesses as well as credit repair, charging a 15% fee on each credit line he obtained. The individuals believed they were only going to get one or two credit cards. However, GODDARD applied and was approved for between 10-20 cards on the individuals’ behalf.

The Indictment further alleges that GODDARD submitted falsified applications regarding annual incomes and the date the businesses were established, stating the businesses had been in operation for years and were making millions of dollars a year in gross revenue. Through the use of a return preparer, fictitious tax returns were also created. The banks, relying on this information, granted significant credit card and business lines of credit. GODDARD, concealing his identity, submitted the applications online and put the credit cards in the names of the individual/business owners. GODDARD began opening more and more credit cards without permission to generate revenue for himself.

The Indictment goes on to allege that in September, 2005, GODDARD applied for a merchant account through First Data Systems, a processor of credit card transactions, which allowed GODDARD to charge the individual/business owner’s credit cards for his 15% fee. GODDARD concealed the reason for his charging the cardholder’s accounts when questioned by First Data Systems. GODDARD, collecting his 15% by charging the credit cards under the merchant name, Goddard, Inc., laundered over $950,000.00 in merchant payments to his Sun Trust accounts from 2006-2009. In addition, from 2005 to 2011, GODDARD has caused over $4,000,000.00
in credit application and wire fraud.

Also alleged in the Indictment, GODDARD applied for and was approved for 14 business credit cards in which he overstated his income and/or his date of business establishment was false. The maximum penalty for bank fraud is up to 30 years’ imprisonment followed by up to five years’ supervised release. For wire fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice, the maximum penalty is up to 20 years’ imprisonment followed by up to three years’ supervised release. Aggravated identity theft carries a maximum penalty of 2 years’ imprisonment followed by up to 1 year supervised release.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations Division and the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Felice McConnell Corpening represented the government.


Comment on this Story

  • personal

    We thought he was a friend. We were stabbed in the back .He deserves everything he gets. It’s the children I feel bad for not his wife she new everything she should be in jail also. He almost ruined my perfect credit he ruined it. He stole 280,000 dollars from us all the while pretending to be our friends. Don’t get it wrong he deserves more than 20 years I lost my house my credit my security. The people that feel bad for him should lie in my shoes….. Shame on you for standing up for a criminal. Sincerely Victim

  • Guest

    For those of you who want to know what he REALLY told his clients…He said we would get a lot of cards and to go ahead and use the money, that in a few months we would transfer the the balance owed onto cards that had less interest. That by transferring the balances to fewer cards with less interest, we would be able to pay the balance in a more timely manor. He also said that if it didn’t work out that we could always file bankrupt. Well, after receiving the cards, using the money to save my legit business of 12 years, he would NOT return phone calls, he never helped to transfer funds, he just dropped me and moved on to the next 15%.
    I have paid off 5 credit cards on my own, I’m still working on paying off the rest, about 10 left. I still have my business but times are still tough. I didn’t pay for anything personal, and the only thing I did benefit from was saving my company. I am not the guilty one, the banks are getting their money back from me.

  • la

    I’m absolutely flabbergasted that it has taken him this long to be caught. This man is a thief and a liar plain and simple!! When and if he ever sees daylight again,(which I hope he doesn’t)he will be right back on the street cooking some kind of scam up. He is the worst kind of thief!! At least a common thief who kicks your door in and robs you lets you know right up front you have been f**k*d. He is probably laying in his cell right now cooking up his next big scam. He is one sorry excuse for a human being. Good riddance!!

  • LaDeux

    This is a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office regarding alleged crimes. The press release was sent to WWAY in order to start this type of banter, playing to the lowest common denominator of intelligence. Judgment before facts. I hope that the 12 people selected for Mr. Goddard’s jury of his peers remember that we live in America and that “every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court” as stated in this Press Release. I have seen the letters from Mr. Goddard’s clients written on his behalf supporting him during this lengthy investigation. As a taxpayer, like all of you, I am most interested in seeing the facts that come out of this case e.g. the clients put on the stand to testify that they received all of these credit cards in the mail at their homes, opened the cards, used the cards (85% leftover after the 15% fee), and paid the monthly payments on the cards until their business filed bankruptcy. I am interested in hearing about the man that fled the country in order to avoid most of these charges that have ended up in Mr. Goddard’s lap. I am interested to hear how the date of the indictment (Feb 23) is one day prior to the statue of limitations expiring on many of these charges yet there was no published info until Mar 3? I would like to know how much in taxpayer dollars was spent on this investigation that attempts to place blame on one man instead of all of the people that actually spent this $4M. We all deserve to know the facts in this case. Please remember that no matter what your personal opinion is of Mr. Goddard, he, like you and I, deserves a fair trial before being condemned by these allegations. Again, as stated in the Press Release “every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court”.

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