Local News

Fayetteville energy broker faces fraud charges

Posted September 29, 2010 5:00 p.m. EDT
Updated September 29, 2010 5:10 p.m. EDT

— A federal grand jury has indicted a Fayetteville-based energy broker on charges that he defrauded banks of $45 million in loans, authorities said Wednesday.

Paul Dewey Lawing Jr., 50, was charged with three counts of bank fraud, five counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering.

As the owner and president of National Gas Distributors, Lawing arranged for the purchase and delivery of natural gas from gas companies to consumers, including governmental entities, manufacturing facilities and other businesses in eastern North Carolina, federal authorities said.

Prosecutors allege that he overstated his company's assets and prepared false invoices to obtain loans from BB&T, First Citizens Bank and Wachovia Bank from January 2005 to January 2006. They said he used phony e-mails, faxes and other means to obtain loans from Atlanta-based investment group Chatham Capital.

National Gas Distributors filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2006. At the time, the company owed Chatham Capital $17 million, First Citizens $15 million and BB&T $600,000, prosecutors said.