Collection of all posts on the Frazier case
A federal grand jury indicted Claiborne Frazier, Austin Frazier, and C.E. Frazier, Jr. on December 12, 2012 for mail fraud and money laundering. The grand jury also indicted Spencer Copeland for money laundering. C.E. Frazier, Jr. is the father of Austin and Claiborne. Mr. Copeland is the step-brother of Austin and Claiborne. The defendants have been taken into custody.
The indictment is seventeen pages long and alleges the Fraziers used their companies to defraud several banks and other parties since 2001. The first count charges Claiborne, Austin, and C.E. with engaging in a conspiracy to defraud BancorpSouth and Merchants & Farmers Bank. The Fraziers allegedly used fraud to obtain construction loans from the banks. The indictment states the Van Buren condos in Oxford were part of the scheme. Frazier Construction borrowed $5.4 million from Bancorp South to finance the construction of the Van Buren Condomeniums. Claiborne allegedly sold some of the condos in cash transactions and diverted the money from repaying the loan. Claiborne would then provide warranty deeds to the buyers without providing a release of the lien from the bank. An earlier post on JJ states:
"BancorpSouth lent $5,400,000 to Van Buren Group LLC to build thirty condominiums in Oxford on September 5, 2001. Claiborne Frazier is the managing member of Van Buren. The debt was guaranteed by Austin Frazier, C.E. Frazier, Shelby Brantley, and Robert Crumpton. Van Buren defaulted on the note and BancorpSouth obtained a judgment in 2008 of $1,214,533 (plus interest of 8.5%). BancorpSouth claimed Claiborne sold seven units without turning over the proceeds of the sale to the bank in order to pay off the note. 21 units were sold by Van Buren, the proceeds of each sale were used to retire the debt. The bank alleged Mr. Frazier sold units for $251,289 (2003), $266,716 (2005), $265,857 (2003), $182,000 (2005), $250,418 (2003), $399,000 (2004), and $300,000 ($50,000 was paid to BancorpSouth). The bank claims other units may have been sold in similar fashion. The foreclosure and tax sale of the condos were the subject of a separate ruling by the Mississippi Court of Appeals. The foreclosure and tax sale of the condos were the subject of a separate ruling by the Mississippi Court of Appeals.". Earlier post
The indictment states the Fraziers would tell the bank the condos had not sold while they pocketed the cash. However, Van Buren was just a practice run for the Fraziers. They created another company, Olde Colony, LLC. in October, 2001 to develop property in Ridgeland. Naturally they "solicited investors" and obtained a $2.86 million loan from M&F Bank in 2004 to build properties in Ridgeland. The indictment alleges they forged the signatures of an architect in order to show progress on the project and obtain funds from the bank.
Then there was Travelers. The case that attracted JJ's interest in this story. The indictment states the Fraziers provided phony information to the insurance ompany in order "to conceal" payments to Claiborne Frazier. Travelers was the bonding agent for a construction project. Several Frazier subcontractors filed bond claims with Travelers as they alleged they were not paid for their work. The indictment (pages 9-11) lists several payments meant for Star Masonry that were diverted to the Fraziers. The Fraziers closed Frazier Construction in 2008.
While Spencer Copeland escaped charges of fraud, the grand jury indicted him for money-laundering. The grand jury alleged Spencer, Austin, and C.E. Frazier deposited checks payable to Frazier Construction into Spencer's bank account at Regions and M&F so as "to conceal from Travelers the nature, the location, the source, the ownership, and the control of these funds and thereafter divert these funds fro the co-conspirator's own use and benefit.
The Fraziers also allegedly opened another company, Construction Tech Solutions, Inc., with C.E.'s construction license and moved assets from the bank account of Frazier Construction to Construction Tech Solutions. Pages 13 and 14 of the indictment list the specific transactions.
The indictment then alleges "It was part of the conspiracy that the co-conspirators would cause funds derived from Frazier Construction assets to be withdrawn in the form of official checks from the M&F bank account xxxxx in the name of Spencer Copeland and from the Trustmark National Bank account xxxx in the name of Spencer Copeland and therafter provided to an unindicted co-conspirator for use in the purchase of a storage unit business located in the state for Georgia for the benefit of defendant A. Frazier. (KF Note: The unindicted co-conspirator is probably Nan Copeland, the mother of Claiborne, Austin, and Spencer. The Travelers civil suit against her mentioned these actions.).
The indictment also states the "unindicted co-conspirator" deposited $120,019 in to her bank account at Regions and wired the funds to Compass Bank in Alabama "towards the purchcase of a storage unit business in Macon, Georgia for the benefit of A. Frazier."
So ends the indictment. Claiborne Frazier and Spencer Copeland were arrested and taken into custody. The other two defendants are turning themselves in to authorities. C.E. Frazier, Jr. is currently free on bond in an unrelated case in Adams County.