Athens plane fire part of federal indictment for four men accuse - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Athens plane fire part of federal indictment for four men accused of insurance fraud

T.R. Wright III, left, Shane William Gordon, center, and Raymond Bruce Fosdick have all been indicted in a federal case. (Source: Gregg and Smith county judicial records) T.R. Wright III, left, Shane William Gordon, center, and Raymond Bruce Fosdick have all been indicted in a federal case. (Source: Gregg and Smith county judicial records)
The Daily Mail shares a story about Theodore Robert Wright III. (Source: DailyMail.co.uk) The Daily Mail shares a story about Theodore Robert Wright III. (Source: DailyMail.co.uk)
EAST TEXAS (KLTV) -

What do a flooded Lamborghini Gallardo, a sunken yacht in Hawaii, an airplane in the depths of the Gulf of Mexico, and a burned out plane in an Athens hangar have in common?

Each is named in a federal indictment as having been destroyed by four men whom investigators say intentionally destroyed vehicles, aircraft and vessels to profit off insurance companies.

Theodore Robert Wright III, Shane William Gordon, Raymond Fosdick, and Edward Delima were indicted May 17 on charges of using fire to commit a felony and aiding and abetting, arson of property used in interstate or foreign commerce or used in an activity affecting interstate or foreign commerce, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and wire fraud.

A criminal forfeiture notice filed in the case seeks $938,554.80, a Gates Learjet and associated logbooks, flight logs and keys.

Wright, 32, a well-known pilot in the aviation world, was arrested June 28 in Las Vegas and is being held in the Gregg County Jail along with Fosdick, 31, who was arrested in South Carolina on July 19.

Wright was forced to surrender his pilot’s license and passport to authorities, records show.

Delima was arrested in Hawaii on July 24 and was arraigned in Tyler on August 2. Delima entered a not guilty plea to a charge of wire fraud and was released on bond.

Gordon, an attorney with offices in Houston, was arrested July 21, and is being held in the Smith County Jail.

The indictment describes four incidents in which the men are accused of conspiring:

1971 Cessna 500 N18FM

Purchased in March 2014 for $190,000, the aircraft was insured for $440,000, according to the indictment. It was found smoldering inside a hangar at Athens Municipal Airport in September of that year. Text messages between Wright and Fosdick allegedly discussing the arson of the plane were obtained by investigators and listed in the indictment.

T.R. Wright: Car is at 18150 McKay Blvd, Humble, TX 77338 Sleep inn. Black Altima key in cup holder. Taxi there. Then you can leave it at  Conroe when finished

T.R. Wright: Do not get made in that car or it will sink us. I would really like if you can have some switcheroos

Raymond Fosdick: It’s done”

An insurance check for $440,000 endorsed by Gordon was deposited in an account out of which a wire transfer of $50,000 was made to another account in Wright’s name, according to the indictment.

A phone call made by Wright to the Athens Fire Marshal is listed among evidence for the indictments.

1966 Beechcraft Baron N265Q

Purchased in March 2012 for $46,000, the plane is now resting at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico near Baytown. The indictment claims Wright collected $85,000 from the insurance company after he and passenger Fosdick wound up in the Gulf after an alleged mechanical failure “caused smoke and flames in the cabin.”

The crash received publicity after Wright recorded video of himself and Fosdick floating in the Gulf awaiting rescue, and the video was picked up by news outlets and used in a commercial.

2008 Lambhorghini Gallardo

Purchased in November 2013 with a salvage title for $76,000, Wright is accused of intentionally driving the car “into a ditch full of water, causing the vehicle to flood.” In May 2014, Gordon deposited an insurance check for $169,554.83 payable to Wright and Cassius, LLC.

1998 Hunter Passage

Purchased in October 2014 for $50,150, the vessel was paid for by two wire transfers from an account held in Wright’s name and insured by Delima for $195,000. On February 20, 2016, investigators say “the vessel was extensively damaged due to partially sinking in a marina in Ko Olina, Hawaii.”

Facebook messages between accounts for Wright and Delima were found by investigators and included in the indictment.

“T.R. Wright: I think you and I should be on the phone together for the claim call, I pretend to be you and give them all the info, then you will hear everything so you know what to say later, and we will be on messenger if we need to communicate while we are on the phone with them. Thoughts?

Edward Delima: Sounds good”

The indictment states that this was not the only occasion that Wright, “used, directed and/or assumed the identity of Edward Delima in communications with the insurance company.”

An insurance check in the amount of $180,023.80 was deposited into a bank account held in Wright’s name in July 2015, and four days later investigators allege Wright transferred $180,000 by wire into an account he shared with Gordon.

Count 1, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and Counts 2 through 4, wire fraud, each carry a penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000, according to the indictment.

Count 5, conspiracy to violate 18 U.S.C. 844(i) carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine; Count 6, related to the alleged arson, is publishable by up to $250,000 in fines and 5 years in prison; and Count 7, use of fire to commit a felony and aiding and abetting, carries a 10-year prison sentence and a fine up to $250,000.

Copyright 2017 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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