A 44-year-old Cary man has pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud charges Monday, admitting he bilked as many as 10 clients out of more than $1 million.
Prosecutors said that between 2009 and January of this year Clare Thomas Anderson obtained payments in advance for shipping wood pulp and other raw materials to mainly foreign customers that never arrived.
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He operated through a maze of company names based out of Cary.
Prosecutors said in some schemes Anderson would ship scrap materials instead of the promised wood pulp and then claim a shipping error had occurred. Other times he would ship substantially smaller amounts and blame the discrepancy on a clerical error, authorities said.
Anderson also admitted that he often failed to pay for materials he obtained or shipping charges to maximize his own profits, authorities said.
Anderson is scheduled for sentencing Aug. 22. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Restitution is mandatory.