Man Pleads Guilty in SML Development Fraud

Lynchburg, VA - James Fields pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges in Lynchburg, for offenses related to the Sunset Cay development near Smith Mountain Lake.

Fields admitted he forged documents in 2007 and 2008, causing Wachovia bank to issue more than $14 million in fraudulent loans.

Fields also admitted that when U.S. Marshals came to arrest him, he removed a screen from a window to attempt to escape capture. Fields was a fugitive for more than a year.

Fields faces similar charges in Bedford County. Commonwealth's Attorney Randy Krantz says he will decide whether to move forward with his case against Fields once the federal case is over, including the sentencing in July and any appeals.

Fields is a former Bedford County School Board Chairman.