ROCKFORD – A Cary businessman Thursday, was sentenced to more than five years in prison for running a multi-million dollar international fraud scheme, according federal authorities.
Clare Thomas Anderson, 45, was sentenced in federal court, to five years and three months in prison, as well as three years of supervised release.
Judge Frederick J. Kapala also ordered Anderson to pay $6.2 million in restitution to the companies he victimized.
Anderson, who pleaded guilty in May, owned Certifibre and Anderson International Global; he did business as Worldwide Paper Company, American Surplus Supply, Southernmost Exports, Southernmost Holdings and Sea Consulting, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Through the businesses, which he operated in Cary and in Florida, Anderson was contracted to sell wood pulp and other raw materials to manufacturers, brokers and suppliers, usually in foreign countries.
In the scheme, Anderson received payments of shipments before they arrived at destinations, often by obtaining letters of credit from clients’ banks to pay for shipments in advance, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
He admitted he created fraudulent documents, such as certificates of orgin and packing lists, that falsely represented the agreed upon quantity and quality of materials that had been shipped.
Anderson would ship scrap materials instead of wood pulp and other raw materials to customers or ship smaller amounts of wood pulp and raw materials. When customers complained, he told them the shipments were intended for other customers in different countries or that there were clerical errors.
Anderson often did not pay suppliers for the materials he shipped or the associated shipping charges, and used the money for his personal expenses, according to the news release.
To avoid detection, Anderson paid back some customers after he was contacted by them or when they threatened to contact law enforcement. He paid refunds by defrauding other customers, the news release said.