Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds 4-Year Prison Term for Gameday Entertainment Chairman of the Board who Defrauded San Antonio Victim of Millions of Dollars
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a four-year federal prison sentence handed down in June 2017 to 50-year-old investment counselor Charles Augustus Banks, IV, an executive with Gameday Entertainment, LLC (Gameday), for defrauding a San Antonio victim of millions of dollars announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash.
In an unpublished opinion (No. 17-50654) filed yesterday, the Court affirmed the district court’s actual-loss calculation of $13.5 million and upheld the district court’s application of a sentencing enhancement because Banks’ scheme derived more than $1 million in gross receipts from one or more financial institutions.
On June 28, 2017, United States District Judge Fred Biery sentenced Banks to four years in federal prison. He also ordered Banks to pay $7.5 million in restitution. After sentencing, Banks filed an appeal of the sentence. Since then, the government has recovered full restitution on behalf of the victim in this case.
“I am very pleased that our prosecutors and appellate team were able to obtain justice and restitution for the victim in this case,” said U.S. Attorney Bash.
According to court records, Banks encouraged the victim to loan $7.5 million to Gameday in 2012. Subsequently, Banks encouraged the victim to personally guarantee another $6 million loan made to Gameday by Comerica Bank in 2013. During this time frame, Banks was Chairman of the Board of Gameday and personally benefitted, in the form of millions of dollars in loans and commissions, from the proceeds of these loans made to Gameday.
On April 3, 2017, Banks pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. By pleading guilty, Banks admittedly manipulated the victim into guaranteeing Gameday’s $6 million debt by misrepresenting the true nature of the transaction. Furthermore, Banks failed to fully disclose the commissions, payments and loans he was receiving from Gameday that were specifically tied to these transactions. On June 26, 2013, Banks also caused two pages relating to the $6M loan guarantee and subordination agreements, which contained his victim’s signature, to be faxed from San Antonio to Bank’s employees in California and Comerica bank employees in California.
The FBI conducted this investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Gregory J. Surovic and Tom Moore prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government. Assistant United States Attorneys Elizabeth Berenguer and Joseph Gay handled the appeal.