New Orleans Man Sentenced to Probation for Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and Money Laundering
NEW ORLEANS – LANCE M. VALLO, age 38 and a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Jane Triche-Milazzo to 36 months of probation with one year of home confinement after VALLO pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, announced U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans of the Eastern District of Louisiana.
As according to court documents, VALLO conspired with RYAN MULLEN, DUANE DUFRENE, DILLON ARCENEAUX, GRANT MENARD, and ZEB SARTIN to use a number of shell Louisiana companies with no assets to defraud a merchant cash company based in Georgia. MULLEN and DUFRENE helped establish ARCENEAUX, VALLO, MENARD, and SARTIN as the owners of existing corporations, MULLEN and DUFRENE then created fake vendor accounts for the corporations, and MULLEN, with the aid of another person, created falsified bank records for the companies. VALLO then used an alias to hold himself out to be a broker for the companies he helped create.
Through the aid of another broker, MULLEN supplied the victim merchant cash advance company with the fake vendor accounts and false bank records to obtain funding. The victim cash advance company approved the advances and began to electronically wire ARCENEAUX, VALLO, MENARD, and SARTIN millions of dollars in advances. ARCENEAUX, VALLO, MENARD, and SARTIN laundered a portion of the funds by paying MULLEN and DUFRENE percentages of the funds. ARCENEAUX, VALLO, MENARD, and SARTIN then closed their non-existent businesses before fully repaying the victim merchant cash advance company, resulting in overall losses of approximately $6.4 million. VALLO was responsible for approximately $876,000 in losses to the victim.
In addition to the sentence, VALLO was sentenced to restitution in the amount of $876,035.05 and a mandatory special assessment fee of $200.
U.S. Attorney Evans commended the special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and IRS-Criminal Investigation for their handling of the matter. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Edward J. Rivera of the Financial Crimes Unit and Andre J. Lagarde of the Public Integrity Unit.
Shane M. Jones
Public Information Officer
United States Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana
United States Department of Justice
Updated November 1, 2023