‘The Credit Doctor’ pleads guilty
RALEIGH, NC (NEWS RELEASE) – The United States Attorney’s Office announced that
in federal court today JAMES WALTER GODDARD, also known as Walter
James Karbley, Jr., pled guilty before United States District Judge
Terrence W. Boyle to one count of bank fraud in violation of Title
18, United States Code, Section 1344; three counts of wire fraud,
in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343; three
counts of money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States
Code, Section 1956(a)(1); one count of obstruction of justice, in
violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1519; and one
count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18,
United States Code, Section 1028A.
A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on
February 23, 2011,
According to the Indictment, from 2005 to 2009, GODDARD, 40,
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
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 for each count. Aggravated
identity theft carries a maximum penalty of 2 years’ imprisonment
followed by up to 1 year supervised release.
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.