Man Charged in Multi-Year Fraud Scheme
HOUSTON—A man believed to be from the Houston area has been arrested on allegations he engaged in an eight-year bank fraud, identity theft and money laundering scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
Andre Lamont Chenier, 41, was arrested late Friday, March 13, 2015, and will make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge George Hanks at 10:00 a.m. today.
The indictment alleges Chenier engaged in a bank fraud scheme spanning from July 2004 to August 2012, during which time he obtained fraudulent commercial loans from local banks using falsified documents and someone else’s Social Security number and laundering the proceeds.
In 2004, Chenier allegedly applied for a $100,000 revolving line of credit loan from a local bank for a company called Teksync Inc. The indictment alleges he requested to have the $100,000 loan increased to $2 million in 2006. As part of his increase request, Chenier allegedly submitted a Personal Financial Statement—Business Banking that contained false and fraudulent information about stock ownership and an Ameritrade account statement that listed fictitious stock ownership and account balances. The indictment further alleges that as part of this statement, Chenier also submitted a falsified balance sheet and bank statement for Teksync that listed a bank balance of $9,309,796.16 when, in fact, the true balance was only $100.
According to the indictment, in 2011, Chenier began the process of applying for a $1,250,000 revolving line of credit loan from another bank for a company called Scott & Burgess. Similar to the other loan, Chenier allegedly submitted a Personal Financial Statement and accounts receivables report that listed fictitious assets as well as U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns that contained the Social Security number of someone else.
If convicted, Chenier faces federal prison time of up to 30 years on the bank fraud charges, 10 years on the money laundering charges as well as a mandatory two years for aggravated which must be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed.
The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation—Office of Inspector General and Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Belinda Beek is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.