Major loan fraud scheme coming to light

Major loan fraud scheme coming to light

TULSA -- A major loan fraud scheme is coming to light in Tulsa.

22 people are named in an affidavit filed last Friday that says each person applied for and received a loan with a fake identity.

According to the affidavit, a man named Paul Barry Wright walked into a Tinker Federal Credit Union to take out a vehicle loan in 2016.

But investigators claim he used false documents. He’s now charged with obtaining property under false pretenses.

Assistant District Attorney Tom Sawyer said, “The false pretenses we’re alleging are social security numbers that don’t belong to them and false documents they used to obtain the loans.”  

The DA’s office alleges 21 other people got on board with Wright’s scheme.

Sawyer explained, “He’s kind of the, for lack of a better term, the ringleader.”

All 21 claim they paid Wright more than $2,000 for the fake social security numbers and paystubs. Wright even created fake businesses like “Wright Way Communications.”

Sawyer said, “You would hope that people would know their own social security number and when they’re given a different social security number, that they would know that would be wrong. Giving false documents, they would know that that would be wrong.”

They used the loans to buy vehicles. Mercedes Benz seemed to be the car of choice. Total damages climb up to almost $245,000. Now, warrants are out for their arrests.

Sawyer said, “We’d like to get them all together and do them at once, but when you have 22 or 23 defendants and 22 or 23 counts, that might not be possible.”

Once arrested, each will face their own prosecution for a crime the DA’s officer says doesn’t happen very often.

The assistant district attorney said, “I would not call it common. We looked at it and said, yeah, there’s a lot of people and a lot of moving parts. So, it’s definitely not common.”

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