Grand Jury Charges A Dozen New Bank Fraud Counts Against Former St. Bernard Parish Assistant District Attorney and Two Associates
NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that a grand jury returned a superseding indictment on November 4, 2022 against GLENN E. DIAZ, age 71, of Arabi; PETER J. “PETE” JENEVEIN, age 57, of Panama City, Florida; and MARK S. GRELLE, age 67, of Chalmette, for bank fraud and money laundering charges related to defrauding First NBC Bank, the New Orleans-based bank that failed in April 2017.
According to the 31-count superseding indictment, from at least April 2016 through December 20, 2016, DIAZ, JENEVEIN, and GRELLE conspired to defraud First NBC Bank through a series of false invoices for work purportedly done at a Florida warehouse owned by DIAZ. As set forth in the superseding indictment, DIAZ was a customer of First NBC Bank from 2006 through the bank’s closure in 2017. By late 2015, DIAZ had been overdrawing his checking account for purported business expenses, although DIAZ was depositing these overdrafts into his personal account at another bank. In April 2016, First NBC Bank officers were asking DIAZ for additional information about the use of the overdrafts. In June 2016, bank officers began requiring invoices as proof that DIAZ was spending bank funds on improving the Florida warehouse.
Thereafter, DIAZ had his associate JENEVEIN provide invoices for improvements on the Florida warehouse performed by GRELLE’s company, Grelle Underground Services LLC. Bank officers then approved the overdrafts based on these invoices. However, after DIAZ wrote the check to GRELLE’s company, GRELLE would then write a check back to DIAZ, which DIAZ would deposit into his personal account at JPMorgan Chase bank. DIAZ then used the money for expenditures unrelated to the Florida warehouse project. In total, DIAZ, JENEVEIN, and GRELLE executed a total of 17 round-trip transactions through GRELLE’s accounts. The superseding indictment adds twelve additional counts in which DIAZ, JENEVEIN, and GRELLE sent fraudulent documents to First NBC Bank to support disbursements of money from the Bank that purportedly reimbursed DIAZ for additional fraudulent business costs. The defendants’ fraud resulted in a loss of over a half million dollars to First NBC Bank.
DIAZ and JENEVEIN are all charged in each of the 31 counts of the superseding indictment, and GRELLE is charged in 20 of the counts. Count 1 charges all three defendants with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1344 and 1349. The maximum penalties that may be imposed upon conviction are thirty years in prison, a maximum fine of the greater of $1,000,000.00 or twice the gross gain to the defendants or twice the gross loss; up to five years of supervised release; and a $100 mandatory special assessment fee.
In Count 2, DIAZ, JENEVEIN, and GRELLE are charged with conspiring to commit money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956(a)(1)(B)(i) and 1956(h). If convicted, they face a maximum of 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of the greater of $500,000.00 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction, up to three years of supervised release, and $100 mandatory special assessment fee.
In Counts 3 through 31, DIAZ and JENEVEIN are charged with bank fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1344, and GRELLE is also charged in Counts 3 to 6, 11, 14, 15, 18 to 25, and 28 to 30. As to each count, the defendants may receive a maximum of thirty years in prison, a maximum fine of the greater of $1,000,000.00 or twice the gross gain to the defendants or twice the gross loss, up to five years of supervised release, and a $100 mandatory special assessment fee.
U.S. Attorney Evans reiterated that a superseding indictment is merely an accusation and that the guilt of the defendants must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo has scheduled the trial in this case for April 17, 2023.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Office of Inspector General; and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew R. Payne, Nicholas D. Moses, J. Ryan McLaren, and Rachal Cassagne are in charge of the prosecution.