Daily News: February 27, 2015

Ex-BofA SVP Admits to $6.4MM Fraud

In a news release, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Las Vegas Office announced that a former senior vice president at Bank of America (BOA) in Las Vegas, Nev., pleaded guilty to misapplication of bank funds in a scheme that led to more than $6.4 million in losses to BOA on two business-related loans.

Justin T. Brough, 39, of North Las Vegas pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of misapplication of bank funds before U.S. District Judge Andrew P. Gordon of the District of Nevada. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 28, 2015.

According to court documents, Brough was a senior vice president at BOA in Las Vegas, serving as a business banking market executive. Brough provided financial services to high-net-worth clients.

Brough admitted to misapplying bank funds in connection with two business loans: a $6.3 million short-term construction loan, and a $600,000 line of credit in connection with the acquisition of a business. Brough admitted that neither borrower qualified for the loans, because they did not meet the bank’s underwriting requirements. Brough further admitted that he falsified documents in order to help both borrowers obtain the loans, including forging signatures on loan papers.

According to Brough’s admissions, when the borrowers had difficulty making payments on the loans, Brough misused the bank’s general ledger fund to make a total of $436,676 in payments on the loans for the borrowers. Brough admitted that he disguised those payments, among other ways, as “goodwill,” “miscellaneous adjustments,” and refunds of various fees. He also admitted that he kept each of the individual payments under $10,000 so he would not need additional approval within BOA.

Both borrowers ultimately defaulted on the loans. According to Brough’s plea agreement, the aggregate loss to BOA was $6,468,767: $5,291,000 on the first loan, and $1,177,167 on the second loan.

BOA received a total of $45 billion in taxpayer funds through the U.S. Department of the Treasury Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), and the bank repaid the funds in full in December 2009.