January 29, 2021

By Caity Roach
Editor, Fraud Friday

Fraud Friday – Bank President Sentenced to Year in Prison for Personal Loans to Friend

Stephen Phillip Casher, a former market president at Rocky Mountain Bank, is the latest in a long list of people facing a reckoning for their business dealings with the former coal executive, Larry Price Jr., who is currently serving five years in prison for embezzling over $40 million through various fraud schemes.

When Price’s fraud schemes were discovered in 2018, he fled Billings, Virginia, leaving behind his $10 million mansion and over $20 million in bank loans and credit card debt. However, that same night, a driver spotted Price on the side of the road. When he was taken to the hospital and interviewed by a detective, Price told a terrifying tale of a pagan biker gang abduction, which was later discovered to be a lie. Upon further investigation into Price’s fraud schemes, Casher and several other business investors were indicted. 

Casher got involved in his friend’s fraud schemes in 2014 when he made an off-book personal loan of $900,000 to support one of Price’s investment companies.  Casher then coached Price on how to apply for a $3.7 million loan at Rocky Mountain Bank just hours after the personal loan was executed. He instructed Price to omit the private loan from his personal financial statement and to alter documents to hide other funds from private investors. As a result of the omission, Rocky Mountain Bank approved Price’s loan.

In 2015, Price returned to Rockey Mountain Bank to obtain a $1.1 million loan for the purpose of purchasing five houses to turn into rental properties. When Price came to Casher for help, several private investors had already loaned Price $1.5 million to support the project. Casher once again omitted the private loans and brokered the deal. In return, the private investors thanked Casher with $20,000.

When the fraud was uncovered, Price defaulted on over $1.2 million in bank loans from Rocky Mountain Bank and $10.3 million in private investment loans linked to Casher. Consequently, Rocky Mountain Bank’s reputation was ruined and some bank employees missed out on bonuses due to bank losses. On January 22, 2021, Casher was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine.

Sources: 
Department of Justice
Billings Gazette
U.S. News