Northshore Contractor Raymond Grow Pleads Guilty to Making a False Statement to a Bank
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 24, 2013|
Raymond Grow, III, age 40, a resident of Covington, Louisiana, pled guilty today to making a false statement to a bank in order to obtain a loan, announced U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente.
Grow pled guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Helen G. Berrigan to a one count felony bill of information charging him with making a false statement in his loan application to First American Bank and Trust. The maximum penalty Grow faces is imprisonment of 30 years, a fine of up to $1,000,000, and a term of supervised release of five years. Sentencing has been scheduled for July 31, 2013, at 9:00 a.m.
The government filed a bill of information on December 26, 2013, charging Grow with a violation of making a false statement to a bank. Grow admitted today that his company, Masters Built Construction LLC, applied for and obtained a loan from First American on May 10, 2006, for $3,450,000 to develop 22 acres located on Hwy 22 in Ponchatula, Louisiana, called The Landings subdivision. The loan was personally guaranteed by Grow. He further admitted that he knew that First American required that he provide a Wetland Determination letter issued by the Corps for the 22 acres before the bank would approve and fund the loan. On May 10, 2006, Grow submitted to the bank’s closing attorney, a letter appearing to be an official Wetland Determination Letter issued by the Corps, reflecting that there was only a small percentage of wetlands on the 22 acres. Based on the material false document, First American closed on the loan. Grow further admitted that he created the letter by cutting and pasting information from another Wetland Determination letter.
The bank learned of the false document when a prospective purchaser of the 22 acres was conducting its due diligence prior to purchasing the property. In a meeting with the Corp, the prospective purchaser presented the Wetland Determination letter to the Corp. The Corp researched the permit numbers listed on Grow’s letter and determined that the information Grow had listed in his letter applied to a completely different piece of property. The Corp stated that it had never conducted a Wetland Determination on the 22 acres.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dorothy Manning Taylor.