Hotel Owner Sentenced for Conspiring with Bank President to Defraud First NBC Bank
NEW ORLEANS – United States Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that ARVIND “MIKE” VIRA (“VIRA”), age 77, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, was sentenced on October 12, 2023 by Chief U.S. District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown to a year and a day in prison for conspiring with First NBC Bank president Ashton J. Ryan to defraud the New Orleans-based bank that failed in April 2017.
According to court documents, in 2006, Ryan lobbied VIRA to move his business accounts to First NBC Bank. VIRA agreed and became a customer of First NBC Bank. Thereafter, Ryan provided VIRA with preferential treatment. Although VIRA was assigned another loan officer, Ryan acted as his de facto loan officer at the bank. Ryan provided VIRA with low interest rates for VIRA’s loans. He also ensured that VIRA received high interest rates on his savings and checking accounts. Ryan personally approved 3% interest rates for savings and checking accounts held by VIRA, his businesses, and his family members. Ryan instructed VIRA to inflate his assets on bank loan documents, and VIRA complied by claiming to have substantial real estate and outside bank accounts that did not exist.
VIRA, in turn, provided personal loans to Ryan at Ryan’s request. Ryan, knowing that such a loan relationship was prohibited by banking regulations, instructed VIRA to conceal this personal loan relationship from First NBC Bank employees. During an FDIC regulatory exam in December 2012, FDIC examiners discovered that Ryan had borrowed money from First NBC Bank using VIRA’s loan proceeds. When examiners questioned him, Ryan admitted to their relationship, but claimed that he had not been aware that the source of the funds were First NBC Bank loan proceeds. In order to further conceal the loans that he made to Ryan, VIRA misrepresented or omitted the interest payments he received from Ryan on his personal tax returns from 2011 through 2015. From 2011 through 2017, VIRA received approximately $1,220,271.07 in profits from Ryan’s interest payments and from Ryan’s preferential treatment of him at First NBC Bank. In addition to prison, Judge Brown sentenced VIRA to three years of supervised release, the payment of $800,000 in restitution to the FDIC and the forfeiture of $420,271.07 to the United States. Further, VIRA was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and a mandatory special assessment fee of $100.
U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the agencies that conducted this years-long investigation: the Federal Bureau of Investigation New Orleans Field Office; the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of Inspector General, Dallas Regional Office; and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Office of Inspector General, Miami Field Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew R. Payne of the Financial Crimes Unit, Nicholas D. Moses, Health Care Coordinator J. Ryan McLaren of the Appellate Unit, and Rachal Cassagne of the Narcotics Unit are in charge of the prosecution.
Shane M. Jones
Public Information Officer
United States Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana
United States Department of Justice
Updated October 13, 2023