Former CEO, executives, borrower of failed New Orleans bank indicted for fraud

The former CEO of a New Orleans bank, three other executives of the institution, and a borrower have all been indicted by a federal grand jury for defrauding the bank, which ultimately failed in 2017.

In the superseding indictment, the U.S. Justice Department charged the executives and a customer of First NBC Bank of New Orleans. The indictments made public Tuesday add a number of new names to the roster of those charged or who have pleaded guilty.

In Tuesday’s announcement, the New Orleans U.S. Attorney said Ashton J. Ryan, age 73, of Kenner, La., William Burnell, age 71, also of Kenner, Robert Brad Calloway, age 60, of Metairie, La., Frank J. Adolph, age 61, of Kenner, and Fred V. Beebe, age 62, of Donaldsonville, La., were all charged for defrauding First NBC Bank.

Ryan was the president and CEO of the bank for most of its existence, the U.S. Attorney said. Burnell was the chief credit officer; Calloway was an executive vice president; Beebe was a senior vice president of First NBC. Adolph was a borrower at the bank, the law enforcement agency said, who was charged with conspiring with the four bank executives to obtain loans based on false statements and forged documents.

According to the Justice Department, the five (and others) conspired to defraud First NBC Bank by disguising the true financial status of certain borrowers and their troubled loans, concealing the true financial condition of the bank from the board, auditors, and examiners.

In June, the Justice Department filed charges against Arvind “Mike” Vira, a New Oreleans hotel owner, with conspiracy to defraud the bank. In August 2020, the New Orleans U.S. Attorney said that Gary R. Gibbs, of Niceville, Fla., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud against the same bank.

In 2019, the former general counsel of the bank, Gregory St. Angelo, 54, of Tammany Parish, La., pleaded guilty to the charges of conspiracy to defraud the bank.

“Today’s indictment demonstrates the FDIC OIG (Office of Inspector General) and our law enforcement partners will continue to pursue individuals who defraud our insured financial institutions and cause harm to the nation’s banking industry,” said Anand Ramlall, Special Agent in Charge, Dallas Region, Office of Inspector General for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC). The FBI, Federal Reserve and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) also investigated the case.

Grand Jury Returns Superseding Indictment Charging First NBC Bank Executives And A Borrower With Bank Fraud And False Statements