Florence man pleads guilty to wire fraud - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Florence man pleads guilty to wire fraud

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69 year old Larry Duwayne Woods pled guilty Wednesday in federal court in Florence, SC, to wire fraud.

United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated said United States District Judge Terry L. Wooten of Florence accepted the plea and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that in 2004 and 2005, David Thomas Hix and Jeffrey Shoup (both previously convicted for related charges) were operating T&J Development, Inc., and attempted to develop condominium and marine projects in North Myrtle Beach called Bahama Island and Crystal Palace.  Hix and Shoup unsuccessfully attempted to obtain financing from banks.

They were then introduced to Larry Duwayne Woods who promised that he could finance the properties by providing $145,000,000 in financing.  Hix and Shoup had been pre-selling the condominium units resulting in over $5,000,000.00 being placed in an account at the National Bank (NBSC) of South Carolina, in Myrtle Beach. 

Woods convinced Hix and Shoup that they needed to wire this money to a stock account, which he'd opened in New York.  On October 10, 2006, Hix and Shoup wired $3,500,000.00 from the NBSC account to Woods' New York account. Woods returned some of the money which was used to pay investors or misused by Hix and Shoup.  Approximately $2.200,000.00 of the money was kept by Woods.

Mr. Nettles stated the maximum penalty Woods can receive is a fine of $250,000.00 and/or imprisonment for 20 years, plus a special assessment of $100.00.

The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorneys William E. Day, II, of the Florence office, and Winston Holliday and Jamie Schoen, of the Columbia office, handled the case.

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