Little Rock man sentenced to 9 years, ordered to pay $500,000 after pleading guilty to fraud and identity theft charges

A Little Rock man who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and identity theft has been sentenced to serve nine years in federal prison and pay more than half a million dollars in restitution. to a series of fraudulent loans he admitted to taking in 2019 and 2020.

Theodis Dixson, 45, pleaded guilty March 29 to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and two counts of impersonation before U.S. District Judge Brian Miller, admitting to using the identity of others to fraudulently obtain car loans for vehicles or non-existent vehicles. which do not belong to the alleged seller.

Between March 15, 2019 and January 28, 2020, records showed Dixson obtained 12 auto loans ranging from $23,000 to nearly $70,000 from 10 different lenders.

Three of those loans, totaling more than $134,000, were made in the name of a man he had allegedly agreed to help repair his credit. Instead, according to court records, Dixson used the man’s identity to increase the man’s credit card bills and take out loans in his name. The man told police the following October he became aware he had been taken away when a lender contacted him demanding payment on a car loan for a car he had never had bought.

Dixson, according to the records, told another victim that he would help her establish her business credit, but instead took out car loans in her name without her knowledge.

Records also showed Dixson and a co-conspirator arranged a $220,000 loan to buy a home in Little Rock from a financially troubled homeowner. The owner was told he could continue to live in the house while Dixson made the payments and that he would be able to buy it back at some point.

After the loan was made, the landlord handed over $62,000 to Dixson and the co-conspirator, with the understanding that the money would be used to make mortgage payments.

Dixson also arranged for a co-conspirator to get a $255,000 loan to buy another home, telling the landlady she could continue to live in the house and invest the equity with Dixson to flip a home in Mississippi. After receiving funds to purchase the home, according to court records, she sent Dixson $81,964 to make the mortgage payments.

Both homes were later seized by lenders, according to court records.

Citing the non-violent nature of Dixson’s crimes, his attorney, Louis Etoch of Helena-West Helena, asked Miller to consider sentencing his client to 57 months for conspiracy and 24 months for each identity theft and carry out all punishments. competing with each other. Additionally, since Dixson was on probation from a previous conviction for fraud at the time of the current offences, Etoch requested that any sentence given for it be concurrent with the rest of his sentence, for a total of 81 months in prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Mazzanti asked Miller to give Dixson the maximum sentence of 71 months for conspiracy and add an additional two years each for the two counts of identity theft and an additional two years for the violations. of supervised release. She requested that he order all sentences to be consecutive to each other for a total of 121 months.

“The courts in this building gave him chances in the past to turn things around and he didn’t,” she said. “This is the fourth time Mr. Dixson has appeared in federal court in a federal fraud case.”

Mazzanti said Dixson showed he would break the law by continuing to perpetrate fraudulent schemes to take advantage of others and by ignoring restitution orders for his victims.

“He comes across as this good person who is going to fix his credit and improve his financial situation, and all that happens is he gets ripped off,” she said. “They end up with the bag because Mr. Dixson never makes his restitution. They’re stuck, their credit is destroyed and they have people coming after them to collect the bills.”

Asking for clemency, Dixson swore he had changed his ways.

“Hearing Ms. Stephanie speak, I’m like, wow, the person I’m hearing her talking about is not me anymore,” he said. “I had time to remember everything I did to anyone.”

Dixson apologized to the court, his family and his children for his actions and said he was tired of living like a criminal.

“I’m sick of being on this side of the table, on this side of the law,” he said. “I know that I will be rehabilitated in a shorter time than that requested by Ms. Stéphanie, because I am already a changed person.”

Following Dixson’s remarks, Miller sentenced him to 71 months for conspiracy, with an additional 24 months for each of two counts of impersonation to run concurrently but consecutively on the conspiracy sentence, for a total of 95 month. Regarding the breach of release, Miller sentenced him to an additional 24 months in prison, half of which would run concurrently and the other half would run consecutively to his other sentences, for a total of 107 months. Miller also ordered Dixson to pay $578,228 in restitution.

Afterwards, the judge told Dixson that he could have easily justified his sentence at 10 or 12 years or more, but decided that nine years would be an appropriate prison term, despite some reservations.

“I’m not going to sit here and lie to you and tell you that I bought your story that you’re going to change,” Miller said. “I hope there is change, but I will say to your family and to you that when I see a person here who has done the same thing over and over again, what I basically understand is who this nobody.”

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