Ex-Banker Pleads Guilty in Fraud Scheme
HOUSTON—A 44-year-old ex-banker who resided in Houston made his initial appearance and also entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
Jason F. Meadors was charged in a superseding indictment returned Dec. 8, 2015. Today, he made his initial appearance on the charges before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Johnson. Soon after, he went before U.S. District Judge Gray Miller to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, admitting that he participated in the from February 2011 through August 2012 while employed as a loan officer at Third Coast Bank in Houston.
Meadors worked as a loan officer at both Bank of Texas and Third Coast Bank. In 2006, he processed a loan request for a man who applied to have a $100,000 loan at Bank of Texas increased to $2 million.
That man—Andre Chenier, 42, of Houston—is also charged in the case. The indictment alleges he submitted various false and fraudulent documents to Bank of Texas, including a Personal Financial Statement—Business Banking that contained false and fraudulent information about stock ownership, an Ameritrade account statement that listed fictitious stock ownership and account balances and a falsified Balance Sheet and bank statement that listed a balance of $9,309,796.16 when the true balance was actually only $100. The indictment alleges Chenier ultimately defaulted on the $2 million loan.
Meadors left the Bank of Texas and began working at Third Coast Bank in 2011. Meadors admitted that he kept in contact with Chenier and knew that he had been accused of defaulting on the loan and of submitting fraudulent documents.
As further part of his guilty plea today, Meadors admitted that he was the loan officer for Chenier’s application to obtain a $1,250,000 revolving line of credit loan at Third Coast Bank in 2011. Meadors admitted that he withheld material information from Third Coast Bank about his prior relationship with Chenier and did not disclose the Bank of Texas allegations.
Chenier also allegedly submitted false and/or fraudulent information regarding the second loan request. He is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.
Meadors faces up to five years in federal prison for his conviction in the conspiracy. He is set for sentencing March 18, 2016.
The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by FBI, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation—Office of Inspector General and IRS—Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Belinda Beek is prosecuting the case.