September 8, 2023
Fraud Friday – First NBC Bank President/CEO Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison
“Ashton Ryan’s years-long deceit caused at the time, one the biggest bank failure in America in over a decade,” says United States Attorney Duane A. Evans, “and with this sentence, he rightfully takes his place as one of the most notorious white-collar criminals in our district’s history. Ryan’s intelligence and charisma were outmatched by his hubris and vanity. Ryan and his accomplices spent years hiding their tracks, by using sophisticated means, all to maintain their house of cards. But this office, along with our federal law enforcement partners, doggedly combed through the wreckage of what was First NBC to uncover the inner – workings of this complex fraud and its prime architect, RYAN. I am proud of this entire team’s work in identifying RYAN as the central figure in this years-long scheme and bringing him to justice.”
At the center of this case is a loan fraud scheme that ended with devastating results: the death of First NBC Bank, approximately $1 billion in loss to the FDIC, and the disappearance of 500 jobs. In February of this year, a jury found Ashton Ryan guilty of 43 counts after they witnessed a five week long trial. Now, he will serve a 14 year prison sentence and owe $214 million in restitution to the FDIC.
Ashton Ryan served as the President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board at the defunct First NBC Bank. For years, he used his position at the bank to disguise his lies about high-risk borrowers and to conceal the bank’s financial condition from the Board. When the bank’s Board, the FDIC, and external auditors asked about loans to these borrowers, he covered the fact that the borrowers were unable to pay their debts without additional financing. Their debt continued to snowball until the bank ultimately failed.
Numerous borrowers and other individuals at the bank were wrapped up in the fraud along the way. After hiding the borrowers’ bad loans and/or poor financial status to get them a loan, the borrowers would pay Ryan individually or pay his business which helped conceal that bank money was being used for his benefit. Other executives and employees at the bank worked alongside Ryan to continue the lies and hide what was actually going on at the bank.
“Today’s sentencing of Ashton Ryan is a warning to bank executives that if you commit fraud and deceive bank regulators you will pay a price for your actions,” said Brian Tucker, Special Agent in Charge, Eastern Region, Office of Inspector General for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “We commend the hard work and dedication of all those involved in this case that ultimately led to today’s result. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to hold accountable those who undermine the safety and soundness of our banking institutions.”
Read our previous reporting:
Fraud Friday – Bank CEO Hides Nearly $1 Billion in Fraudulent Loans from Regulators – 2/12/21
Fraud Friday – Bank Executive Vice President Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Defraud his Bank – 8/5/22
Fraud Friday – First NBC Fraud Costs Almost $1 Billion – 8/12/22
Fraud Friday – Loan Officer’s Warnings Ignored in Massive Bank Fraud – 1/6/23
Fraud Friday – “He Lost it All” Says Defense Attorney in First NBC Bank Trial – 1/20/23
Fraud Friday – Former First NBC Bank President and CEO Guilty of 46 Fraud Charges – 2/17/23