November 15, 2019
By Caity Witucki
Contributing Editor, Fraud Friday
Fraud Friday– Business Man Pleads Guilty to Multi-Million Dollar Bank and Wire Fraud Scheme
Former chief executive officer and businessman, Michael Allen Worley, recently pleaded guilty to more than $29 million dollars worth of bank and wire fraud. According to court filings, Worley is now facing up to 50 years in prison and owes millions in fines and restitution.
“Today’s guilty plea holds Michael Worley accountable for orchestrating a multi-year scheme to defraud private lenders and federally insured financial institutions of tens of millions of dollars,” FBI Special Agent, Bryan A. Vorndran said in response to the hearing on November 4th. “The FBI New Orleans Field Office is dedicated to investigating crimes of greed and deceit and bringing to justice those, such as Worley, who exploit the finances of their victims.”
According to admissions made as part of his guilty plea, Worley executed schemes to defraud both banks and private equity firms by submitting multiple false and fraudulent loan applications on behalf of himself and of businesses he owned or operated. Between 2014 and 2018, Worley obtained more than $18 million in new loans from federally-insured banks in Baton Rouge and around the country through materially false and fraudulent statements and representations. Through a similar scheme, Worley obtained an additional $11 million from private equity firms in Louisiana and Texas. During the course of both fraud schemes, Worley inflated his assets, omitted his liabilities, misrepresented his income, and misrepresented the intended use of the loan proceeds.
After obtaining the funds, Worley and the businesses he owned, operated, or controlled, defaulted on the loans, causing the financial institutions and private equity funds to suffer financial losses. He then filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January of 2018.
“This investigation and conviction demonstrates that those who seek to deceive and defraud banks and other lenders for their own personal benefit will be held accountable,” says U.S. Attorney Brandon J. Fremin. “Mr. Worley executed schemes to fraudulently induce banks and private lenders into giving him millions of dollars, and used unwitting associates of his to assist him. Individuals like Mr. Worley who obtain loans through fraudulent means can expect to be prosecuted, and victims of such schemes should know we will do everything within our power to make these lenders whole.”