32-year-old Kemah man pleaded guilty in federal court this week for conspiring
to commit wire fraud and commit arson in a fire at Athens Municipal
In September 2014, the Athens Fire Department was alerted to an airplane on
fire at the airport. Reports show that Carroll Dyson, owner of Dyson Aviation,
noticed the Cessna 500s cockpit on fire when he arrived. Athens Fire Marshal
Ronnie Denton and Henderson County Fire Marshal Shane Renberg investigated the
case. The plane had been at the airport for about two weeks.
Denton said part of the investigation was to determine why the plane was in
According to information presented in court, Theodore Robert Wright III led a
multi-jurisdictional fraud and arson scheme that spanned from Hawaii to the
Gulf of Mexico and involved the destruction of various assets, including
vehicles, aircraft and vessels. Wright and his co-conspirators, Shane Gordon,
45, of Houston, Raymond Fosdick, 41, of Houston, and Edward Delima, 41, of
Honolulu, acquired assets and obtained insurance coverage in amounts exceeding
their purchase prices. Wright and his co-conspirators then devised and carried
out schemes to destroy the assets and defraud insurance companies.
The assets destroyed in the scheme included a 1966 Beechcraft Baron, a 2008
Lamborghini Gallardo, a 1971 Cessna 500 and a 1998 Hunter Passage. The
Beechcraft Baron made an emergency landing in the Gulf of Mexico, sank in deep
water and was not recovered. The Lamborghini Gallardo crashed into a ditch full
of water, causing the vehicle to flood. The Cessna 500 was completely destroyed
when Fosdick set it on fire at Wright’s direction at the Athens airport. The
Hunter Passage sank in a marina in Hawaii.
Fraudulent insurance claims were filed in each of these incidents. Wright and
his co-defendants also filed a fraudulent $1 million personal-injury lawsuit in
the crash in the Gulf of Mexico. The suit was settled for $100,000.
On May 17, 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 pleaded guilty. On Sept. 26, Delima
pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud. On Oct. 12, Fosdick pleaded
guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud and conspiring to commit arson. On
Oct. 25, Gordon pleaded guilty to making false statements to a federal agent.
At sentencing, Delima faces up to 20 years in federal prison. Fosdick faces up
to 20 years in federal prison for wire fraud conspiracy and five to 20 years in
federal prison on the arson conspiracy count. Gordon faces up to five years in
federal prison. Sentencing dates have not been determined.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and
Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nathaniel C.
Kummerfeld and L. Frank Coan, Jr.
Wright entered his plea pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge K.