Richmond man sentenced for mail fraud in church scam

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Frantz Cadet, 48, of Chesterfield was sentenced today to 24 months in prison on nine charges of mail fraud, and one charge of making a false statement to the FBI.

The evidence at trial established that beginning in July 2004, Cadet composed hate-mail letters that were purportedly directed at himself, and began mailing them to various members of his church, the Southside Church of the Nazarene.

In April 2005, Cadet composed approximately 20 additional hate-mail letters, and in August 2005, he mailed an additional 80 letters, all to members of the church.  The letters identified Cadet as a member of the church, and contained character and racial slurs directed to him.

Initially, the FBI opened a civil rights investigation, but shortly developed Cadet as the primary suspect.  The evidence at trial also showed that Cadet used his juvenile children and the unwitting assistance of two girlfriends to help address and send the letters.

In total, over one hundred letters were mailed to members of the church to obtain sympathy for Cadet, and to enable him to keep his job at the church, which he was endanger of losing for poor job performance.  At his trial in June, various members of the church testified against Cadet.  After the close of the two day trial, Cadet was convicted of nine counts of mail fraud, and one count of making false statements to the FBI.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI, and Chesterfield County Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney Peter S. Duffey prosecuted the case on for the United States.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Jennifer Smith Love, Special Agent-In-Charge, Richmond Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Thierry G. Dupuis, Chief of Police, Chesterfield County Police Department, announced the sentencing today.