The Woodward News

October 9, 2013

Two Woodward men face federal charges

Rowynn Ricks
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — Two Woodward men have been indicted on federal conspiracy charges.

Clinton Ivan Rutledge, 42, and Christopher Dean Noreuil, 40, are accused of conspiring to commit mail fraud.

According to the federal indictment, "the object of the conspiracy was to fraudulently obtain money from Rutledge's automobile insurer by making a false claim that Rutledge's 2004 Ford F-250 pickup truck ("truck") and 1999 TexMex flatbed trailer ("trailer") had been stolen."

In January 2013, Rutledge "was having some financial problems" and allegedly asked Noreuil to take and hide the truck and trailer so that he could make a stolen vehicle claim on his auto insurance policy, the indictment states.  In return, Rutledge and Noreuil allegedly agreed that Noreuil could sell parts of the truck and keep the money.

The indictment states that upon Rutledge's request, on or about Jan. 25, 2013 Noreuil allegedly took the truck and trailer while Rutledge was in Irving, Texas visiting his sister.  Rutledge then reported the truck and trailer missing from a parking lot in Irving, Texas, while Noreuil allegedly hid the truck in the garage at his own residence in Woodward and parked the trailer on some private property near Woodward.

After Rutledge allegedly made the false stolen vehicle claim, his insurance company issued 4 checks totaling almost $22,000 to pay off the claim. The indictment states these payments included 2 checks issued directly to Rutledge in the amounts of $500 and $7,954.73 respectively.  The other 2 checks, in the amounts of $10,233.70 and $3,291.70, were issued to Central National Bank as the lienholder for both the truck and trailer.

Because these 4 checks were delivered by mail through the U.S. Postal Service, Rutledge was also indicted on 4 counts of federal mail fraud.

According to FBI spokesman Special Agent Rick Rains, Rutledge turned himself in to the FBI in Oklahoma City on Thursday, Oct. 3 and Noreuil was taken into FBI custody on the same day from the Woodward County Jail.

"He (Noreuil) was being held there on state charges and we took custody of him on a federal warrant," Rains said.

Both Rutledge and Noreuil also appeared in the U.S. District Court Western District Court of Oklahoma for arraignments on Thursday, Oct. 3.  They each entered a plea of not guilty and their cases were set for the jury docket on Nov. 5 before U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton.

Records show that Rutledge was released on a personal recognizance bond, while Noreuil was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals because he is believed to represent a flight risk and/or danger to the community.

The federal case number is CR-13-233-HE.

Both Rutledge and Noreuil were also charged earlier this year in Woodward County District Court in connection with this same case.  Rutledge was charged in case CF-13-132 with 2 felony counts for insurance fraud and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.  Noreuil was charged in case CF-13-133 with felony charges of conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and knowingly concealing stolen property.