May 10, 2019
By Dominic J Bartolone
Contributing Editor, Fraud Friday
Fraud Friday – Billings Man Indicted for Defrauding Canadian Bank
A Montana businessman was indicted for bank fraud for allegedly inducing a Canadian Bank to loan him more than $40 million based on phony loan documents.
Todd Capser, 47, of Billings, was arrested May 8 by the FBI on a federal warrant out of the U.S. Southern District of New York.
According to the indictment, Capser provided misleading information about his assets to Third Eye Capital Corporation of Toronto. Capser’s business was identified as Wayfare Transoceanic.
Capser used false information to obtain loans from the bank for $43.3 million. He used the money to purchase oil tankers from a Hong Kong shipping firm, $20 million apiece for them with the intention of leasing them back to the shipping company for $8500 a day.
Prosecutors say that after the purchase, Capser also solicited loans from at least nine other lenders, attempting to defraud them of between $46 million and $52 million with phony loans. Among other documents presented to those banks as proof of assets to back up his loans, was a purported $400 million in proceeds from the sale of a fake cattle ranch.
Capser and his father, Edward Michael Capser, are both defendants in a related civil suit. The FBI has identified the father as being involved in the scheme, although no charges have yet been filed against him.
According to prosecutors, Capser also fraudulently obtained documents from an investment management firm and doctored them to reflect it was an account he owned. He also created new documents to make it appear he had tens of millions of dollars on account with the trust, using that phony documentation to pledge collateral for loans.
In addition to the fraudulent asset documentation, Todd Capser allegedly created fake email accounts for employees of Bessemer Trust, the legitimate company that Capser presented as managing his phony investment portfolio.
Using the bogus email accounts, Capser provided Third Eye Capital with daily updates from his fake portfolio, which he promised would never fall below $30 million. Last December, Bessemer informed the bank that the trust company held no account for Capser and that he had never been a client of their firm.
Prosecutors also claim that Capser fabricated family emergencies to stonewall financial institutions’ inquiries, including saying that his daughter was terminally ill with cancer.
Capser has been charged with wire fraud, felony conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft. If convicted, he faces up to 43 years in federal prison.