July 8, 2016
By Bob Coleman
Editor, Fraud Friday
Fraud Friday — Former Community Bank President Faces Life in Prison after Guilty Verdicts
Paul Doughty’s ten fraud guilty verdicts by an Oklahoma federal jury has the 67-year old community banker facing life in prison. First State Bank of Altus was seized by regulators during the recession in 2009.
His partner in several business ventures, Fred Anderson, pled guilty to one count of bank fraud and testified against him at the trail.
The jury heard that in 2006 and 2007, Doughty and Anderson recruited buyers for 19 Colorado real estate lots priced at approximately $700,000 each. Doughty approved and issued 14 lot loans to buyers, totaling more than $10,000,000 in loan proceeds for the seller, Mountain Adventure Property Investments. MAPI was a Colorado company that Anderson had an indirect ownership interest in and where he served as president and manager.
Evidence at trial showed that each loan exceeded Doughty’s individual lending authority at FSB, and most of the loans were issued without approval of FSB’s loan committee, including a $580,000 loan to Anderson’s personal company. The jury heard that Doughty and Anderson presented lots to borrowers as “zero money down” investments, and that the down payments for the purchases were often advanced or refunded to the buyers by Anderson on behalf of MAPI. Doughty and Anderson also assured the buyers that MAPI would make all payments on the loans to the bank. The jury heard that on the few occasions when Doughty presented a Colorado loan to FSB’s loan committee, he misrepresented the source and amount of borrowers’ down payments and the borrowers’ responsibility for making payment on the loans.
Second, trial evidence showed that Doughty funded five so-called “senior life settlement” loans through FSB in 2008. Each loan was $2.5 million, and one of the loans went to Anderson’s personal company. Doughty and Anderson recruited borrowers to take out these “self-paying” loans to provide money for investments in Altus-based Quartz Mountain Aerospace. Evidence at trial showed that a portion of the loan proceeds was invested in QMA, and another portion would pay the loan’s interest. The remaining proceeds on the loans would buy and maintain third-party life insurance policies, where the death benefits on the third parties were intended to repay the loan’s principal. The jury heard that each loan exceeded Doughty’s lending authority, and that he issued at least $10,000,000 in senior life settlement loans without FSB’s loan committee or board approval. With each loan, Doughty and Anderson directed $125,000 in “service fee”” to Altus Ventures, a company under their control. The jury heard evidence that at the time the loans were issued, the fees to Altus Ventures were not disclosed to FSB or to the borrowers taking out those loans.
Third, the jury heard evidence that in January 2008, Doughty arranged a $2 million loan from FSB to Ethanol Products Group, a startup company in which both Anderson and Doughty had ownership interests. Evidence showed that Doughty advanced the $2 million from FSB, above his individual lending authority, without approval by FSB’s loan committee or board. Soon before issuing the loan, Doughty e-mailed Anderson his “cash strategy” for two other companies they controlled; the “strategy” showed all the EPG loan proceeds would be directed to companies controlled by Anderson and Doughty, ultimately diverting $100,000 in “officer bonuses” to Anderson and Doughty.
The jury convicted Doughty and ten fraud charges, and acquitted him on three fraud charges.
Doughty faces up to 300 years in prison and millions of dollars in fines.