Fraud. Photo credit:
Fraud. Photo credit:

A Minnesota man who lied on a series of business loan applications he used to steal nearly $500,000 was sentenced in San Diego on Monday to 57 months in federal prison.

Solomon Gordon Raymond, also known as Paul Anthony Raymond, was convicted of lying on several loan applications he submitted to Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Bank of Escondido.

U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez described Raymond as “one of the worst con men I have ever seen” in ordering the defendant to pay $729,192 in restitution.

U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said Raymond’s “string of lies and deceptions not only defrauded these banks, they also victimized the taxpayers whose funds are used to support business loans to deserving small businesses.”

“We are pleased that the jury saw through the additional lies he told at trial, and that he was appropriately punished for his misconduct,” she said.

Prosecutors said each loan application contained numerous false statements and omissions regarding Raymond’s financial and business affairs, criminal history and other aspects of his credit worthiness.

Evidence presented at trial established that Raymond was able to trick the banks into believing that he was a good candidate for the loans by strategically using a second social security number that was unmarred by his bad credit history and multiple bankruptcy filings.

Raymond, 54, claimed that his income ranged from $308,841 to $543,933, when, in fact, his true income was only a fraction of those amounts, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Just three days before Raymond collected the last payment of nearly a half-million dollars from the fraudulent loans, he filed for bankruptcy, attempting to wipe away his obligation to repay the loans, according to prosecutors.

City News Service