Fraud Friday – Former First NBC Bank President and CEO Guilty of 46 Fraud Charges

February 17, 2023

Delaney Sexton
Contributing Editor

Fraud Friday – Former First NBC Bank President and CEO Guilty of 46 Fraud Charges

“Ashton Ryan’s fraud scheme to deceive regulators and the public resulted in one of the largest bank failures since the financial crisis. His conviction sends a clear message that bank executives who commit fraud will be brought to justice for their actions. I commend our agent and our federal law enforcement partners for their hard work and persistence in this very complex case, which ultimately led to this conviction,” says Stephen Donnelly, Acting 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.

Last week, the former President and CEO of First NBC Bank, Ashton Ryan, was found guilty on all 46 counts of fraud related to the almost $1 billion downfall of the bank. The former Senior Vice President that was being tried with Ryan, Fred Beebe, was found not guilty on all seven counts against him.

Court documents and evidence presented at trial reveal Ryan and others’ conspiracy to defraud the bank by disguising the true financial status of certain borrowers and their loans from the bank’s Board of Directors, auditors, and examiners. When these parties asked about the loans, the participants of the fraud conspiracy made false statements about the status of the borrowers and troubled loans. In addition, they did not tell the truth about the borrowers’ inability to pay back their debts without the support of an additional loan.

Based on the actions of Ryan and other bank executives, the borrowers’ balances on their loans continued to add up until the bank ultimately failed.

Agents and analysts contributed thousands of hours of work to review millions of pages of emails, account records, and loan documents during the investigation of this fraud.

“We respect the jury’s verdict as it pertains to both individuals,” says U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans. “I want to thank the jurors who have done a great public service in giving their time to listen and evaluate the evidence and to render their verdict. This was a theft of epic proportions that grew from within that ultimately harmed the New Orleans economy. This case shows the dedication of this office, along with our law enforcement partners to prosecuting crime wherever it happens. Be it on the streets of our neighborhoods, or in board rooms downtown, this office will dedicate the time and resources to investigate and bring culprits to justice.”

DOJ Press Release

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