Victor Dandridge, a former partner at Thompson Davis & Co., plead guilty on Wednesday to two counts of wire fraud and one count of bank fraud in a scheme that involved defrauding the widow of a Richmond investment banker, as well as, a western Virginia Bank, and a University of Virginia fraternity. In court documents, Dandridge admitted to illegally diverting the widow’s money to keep his business alive and for his own personal use. Additionally, he falsified loan documents with Blue Ridge Bank to obtain a $300,000 loan. Finally, he assisted a fraternity at EVA in refinancing a loan for $120,000 over its mortgage value and pocketing the rest into his personal bank account.
As a result of being sued, Dandridge filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in March of 2017 stating that he held on $220,000 in assets, but owed nearly $3 million in debt. He was able to suspend litigation arising from the mismanagement of the widow’s funds, but was met with a petition to the court that the law suit be allowed to continue. So while Mr. Dandridge was able to utilize the U.S. Bankruptcy Laws to suspend the law suit, the FBI began looking into his actions for criminal activity. He as officially charged on July 5th and has cooperated with authorities.
While bankruptcy is a useful tool to suspend law suits in an effort to get one’s finances in order, it can’t cover up criminal activity. Because the money Dandridge obtained was through fraudulent activity, he will be responsible to pay back the entire amount owed. Dandridge also admitted that his actions were his own and didn’t reflect that actions of his previous investment firm.