TYLER, Texas – A pilot, formerly of Kemah, has been sentenced to federal prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit arson, according to authorities.
Theodore Robert Wright, III, 33, pleaded guilty on Dec. 7 to the charges and was sentenced to 65 months, or nearly five-and-a-half years, in prison by U.S. District Judge Ron Clark.
He was also ordered to pay nearly $1 million in restitution.
Wright led a multi-jurisdictional fraud and arson scheme that spanned from Hawaii to the Gulf of Mexico, and involved the destruction of various luxury goods, including vehicles, aircraft, and vessels, According to information presented in court.
Wright and his co-conspirators, Shane Gordon, 46, and Raymond Fosdick, 42, both of Houston, and Edward Delima, 42, of Honolulu, Hawaii, acquired luxury goods and obtained insurance coverage for those goods in amounts exceeding their purchase prices.
Wright and his co-conspirators then devised and carried out schemes to destroy those goods and defraud insurance companies.
A 1966 Beechcraft Baron, a 2008 Lamborghini Gallardo, a 1971 Cessna 500 and a 1998 Hunter Passage were all destroyed in the scheme.
The Beechcraft Baron made an emergency landing in the Gulf of Mexico, sank in deep water, and was not recovered.
KPRC2 sat down with Wright and Fosdick in 2012 after the crash in the Gulf, in which both men were uninjured.
"The actual plummeting from the sky and all of that element wasn't a big deal. Neither of us was screaming and, you know, there was no praying," Fosdick said at the time.
The Lamborghini Gallardo crashed into a ditch full of water, causing the vehicle to flood.
The Cessna 500 was destroyed when Fosdick set it on fire at Wright’s direction at an airport in Athens, Texas.
The Hunter Passage sank in a marina in Hawaii.
Fraudulent insurance claims were filed in relation to each of these incidents.
Wright and his co-defendants also filed a fraudulent $1 million personal injury lawsuit related to the crash in the Gulf of Mexico. The suit was settled for $100,000.
On May 17, 2017, Wright, Gordon, Fosdick, and Delima were charged with various offenses related to their conduct in the scheme in the Eastern District of Texas.
Wright’s co-conspirators have all pleaded guilty. Delima pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud and was sentenced to a five-year term of probation.
Fosdick pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud and conspiring to commit arson and on Jan. 24 and was sentenced to 39 months in federal prison. Gordon pleaded guilty to making false statements to a federal agent and was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison today and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $440,000.