Baton Rouge Businessman Sentenced To Prison For Bank Fraud Scheme
BATON ROUGE, LA - United States Attorney Walt Green announced today that United States District Chief Judge Brian A. Jackson sentenced JASON CHRISTOPHER DEVILLIER, age 45, for his convictions in connection with a scheme to defraud Whitney Bank. This summer, DEVILLIER pled guilty to bank fraud and fraudulent receipt of bank funds.
Chief Judge Jackson sentenced DEVILLIER to a term of 33 months in the Bureau of Prisons, to be followed by a term of 3 years supervised release. DEVILLIER was also sentenced to pay total restitution of $474,410.74 to Whitney Bank. Additionally, DEVILLIER was ordered to forfeit assets of $474,410.74 and pay a $25,000 fine.
These convictions arose from DEVILLIER’s ownership and operation of ABC123, L.L.C. (“ABC123”), a payment processing company for private and parochial primary and secondary schools located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In order for ABC123 to perform its payment processing services for the schools, parents established accounts through ABC123’s website, which enabled parents to send money electronically to the schools for tuition, cafeteria fees, and other school-related fees. ABC123 collected the funds paid by parents and transmitted them to financial institutions designated by each respective school. As a result, DEVILLIER had access to the schools’ bank account information, including routing and account numbers.
DEVILLIER accomplished his scheme to defraud Whitney Bank through his use of the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) network. DEVILLIER previously admitted that, from November of 2012 through July of 2013, he diverted funds from ABC123’s Whitney Bank account (“the ABC123 account”) into his personal account and other accounts, in amounts ranging from $30 to $50,000, through inappropriate ACH batch transactions. For each fraudulent transaction, DEVILLIER posted numerous and substantial false and fraudulent credits to the ABC123 account, which he falsely represented as authorized withdrawals from accounts belonging to the schools. In effect, these false and fraudulent ACH credits posted by DEVILLIER made it appear as though the ABC123 account had sufficient funds for withdrawals from said account. Before Whitney Bank was able to detect and reverse the false and fraudulent ACH credits, Devillier transferred funds through ACH debits from the ABC123 account to various personal and business accounts belonging to him and others. As a result of DEVILLIER’s fraudulent conduct, Whitney Bank suffered substantial losses.
U.S. Attorney Walt Green stated: “Mr. Devillier was sentenced to a significant sentence for his criminal conduct. In lining his own pockets, Mr. Devillier violated the trust of not only Whitney Bank, but also the trust of the schools, students, and families his business was supposed to serve. I also wish to convey my appreciation to the FBI and the prosecutor for their excellent work, as well as to Whitney Bank and the schools for their cooperation and support during the investigation and prosecution of this important matter.”
SAC Jeffrey S. Sallet stated: “I would like to recognize the outstanding work done by the assigned FBI Special Agent and Assistant U.S. Attorney in unraveling this complex bank fraud scheme. The New Orleans Division of the FBI remains committed to working with our law enforcement partners to identify, investigate and prosecute those who would attempt to fraudulently utilize the banking system for personal gain.”
The investigation has been conducted by the Baton Rouge Resident Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Cam T. Le.