New Orleans Hotel Owner Charged With Conspiracy to Defraud First NBC Bank
NEW ORLEANS – The United States Attorney’s Office announced that ARVIND “MIKE” VIRA (“VIRA”), age 74, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, was charged today with conspiracy to defraud First NBC Bank, the New Orleans-based bank that failed in April 2017.
According to the Bill of Information, from in or around April 2010 through April 2017, VIRA had a banking relationship with First NBC Bank, individually and through his companies. During that time, Bank President A acted as VIRA’S de facto loan officer and ensured that VIRA received beneficial interest rates on savings accounts, checking accounts, and loans. In return, VIRA agreed to make loans to Bank President A. VIRA agreed to keep these loans to Bank President A concealed from employees of First NBC Bank at the direction of Bank President A. Bank President A likewise concealed this relationship from others at First NBC Bank and from Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) examiners.
The Bill of Information also alleges that, at the direction of Bank President A, VIRA inflated his own assets on financial statements that he submitted to First NBC Bank in support of his loans. As a result, VIRA and Bank President A were able to defraud First NBC Bank by using nominee loans to funnel money to Bank President A without bank or regulatory scrutiny.
VIRA is charged in the Bill of Information with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 371 and 1344. The maximum penalties that may be imposed upon conviction are five years in prison, a $250,000.00 fine, up to three years of supervised release, and a mandatory $100 special assessment.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office stated that a Bill of Information is merely an accusation and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of Inspector General; and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sharan E. Lieberman, Matthew R. Payne, Nicholas D. Moses, and J. Ryan McLaren are in charge of the prosecution.
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