Baton Rouge Man Pleads Guilty in Federal Court to Multi-Million Dollar Bank and Wire Fraud Schemes
United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin announced today that Michael Allen Worley, age 57, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, pled guilty before U.S. District Judge John W. deGravelles to bank fraud and wire fraud. As a result of his conviction, Worley faces a significant term of imprisonment, a fine, and a period of supervised release.
According to admissions made as part of his guilty plea, Worley executed schemes to defraud both banks and private equity firms by submitting multiple false and fraudulent loan applications on behalf of himself and of businesses he owned or operated. Between 2014 and 2018, Worley obtained more than $18 million in new loans from federally-insured banks in Baton Rouge and around the country through materially false and fraudulent statements and representations. Through a similar scheme, Worley obtained at least an additional $11 million from private equity firms in Louisiana and Texas, also through materially false and fraudulent statements and representations. During the course of both his bank and wire fraud schemes, Worley inflated his assets, understated and omitted his liabilities, misrepresented his income, and often misrepresented other things including the intended use(s) of millions in loan proceeds. In some instances, Worley and the businesses he owned, operated, or controlled, defaulted on the loans, causing the financial institutions and private equity funds to suffer financial losses. Worley filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January of 2018.
U.S. Attorney Brandon J. Fremin stated, “This investigation and conviction demonstrates that those who seek to deceive and defraud banks and other lenders for their own personal benefit will be held accountable. Mr. Worley executed schemes to fraudulently induce banks and private lenders into giving him millions of dollars, and used unwitting associates of his to assist him. Individuals like Mr. Worley who obtain loans through fraudulent means can expect to be prosecuted, and victims of such schemes should know we will do everything within our power to make these lenders whole. I would like to recognize the efforts of our prosecutor and the FBI for their exemplary work on such an important matter.”
Bryan A. Vorndran, FBI New Orleans Special Agent in Charge stated, “Today’s guilty plea holds Michael Worley accountable for orchestrating a multi-year scheme to defraud private lenders and federally insured financial institutions of tens of millions of dollars. The FBI New Orleans Field Office is dedicated to investigating crimes of greed and deceit and bringing to justice those, such as Worley, who exploit the finances of their victims.”
This matter is being investigated by the Baton Rouge Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau of Investigations and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Peter J. Smyczek.