Hyder pleads guilty in federal court to fraud charges involving victims in Polk County and Florida

Published 6:59 pm Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sentenced to 7 years in prison and $789,649 restitution
An Orlando, Fla. man was sentenced last week in federal court after pleading guilty to a wire fraud charge that involved the 2010 fraud of an 82-year-old Polk County woman, as well as victims in Florida.
Terry Scott Hyder, 51, was sentenced by Judge Martin Reidinger to serve seven years in a federal prison and pay $789,649 in restitution, as well as three years of supervised release.
The Polk County case involved $120,000 obtained fraudulently from the victim, according to Polk County Sheriff’s Office records. The case was turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
In October 2010, a federal criminal indictment charged Hyder with one count of wire fraud. Hyder pled guilty to the charge in February 2011. According to filed court documents, the plea agreement and court proceedings, Hyder engaged in a fraudulent investment scheme from about June 2007 through about July 2010 that defrauded elderly individuals residing in Polk County and in Orlando, Fla. of their savings. Hyder established and maintained Sterling and Stratford LLC (“Sterling”), a limited liability corporation organized in the state of Florida to carry out the scheme.
According to court documents, Hyder convinced his victims to invest with Sterling by making fraudulent representations to his victims that Sterling was a legitimate business engaged in multiple investment vehicles that yielded high rates of return on short-term investments. A total of nine victims were involved in Hyder’s investment scam.
Court documents indicate that Hyder, who met many of his victims in connection with Alzheimer’s support groups and other church-sponsored functions, told his victims to invest through “real estate trusts,” which he purportedly set up in the victims’ names.
The Polk County victim was thought to have met Hyder through his mother, Sue Carswell Hyder, of Bostic, who was also arrested in 2010 on charges of creating fake handicapped placards and issuing them to non-disabled people through the Forest City Department of Motor Vehicles, which was subsequently shut down during that investigation.
Terry Hyder was said to have used the money he collected as investments to pay for personal expenses, and made no legitimate efforts to invest any of the money on behalf of the individual victims. Hyder collected a total of $789,000 from his victims, according to reports.
Terry Hyder has been in local federal custody since his August 2010 arrest. He will be transferred into custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, where he will serve his sentence without the possibility of parole.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Corey Ellis of the United States Attorney’s Office in Asheville, with the announcement made this week by Anne M Tompkins, United States attorney for the Western District of North Carolina and Chris Briese, special agent in charge of the FBI, Charlotte division.