Oklahoma Bank SVP Scams Friends and BancFirst to Support Gambling Habit – Fraud Friday

June 21, 2024

Delaney Sexton
Contributing Editor

Oklahoma Bank SVP Scams Friends and BancFirst to Support Gambling Habit – Fraud Friday

John Padilla, a former Senior Vice President and commercial loan officer at BancFirst in Lawton, Oklahoma, pleaded guilty to a $1 million loan fraud scheme. Padilla’s position at the bank granted him the authority to approve loans up to $350,000 without additional oversight. During his time working there from 2013 to 2019, Padilla exploited this authority by recruiting borrowers to apply for loans. Specifically, he recruited friends and associates to apply for loans. The loans did not meet credit standards, but they fell beneath his delegated lending authority.

He told his friends and associates that the loan proceeds were going to be invested in a real estate venture, and in return, they would receive a portion of the profit. Padilla assured them that he would make payments on the outstanding balance of all the fraudulent loans. However, Padilla’s true intention was to use the loans to fund his gambling losses.

During the application process, he instructed the borrowers on what to represent as the loan’s purpose. Padilla often listed non-existent collateral in the loan applications to secure the loans. He even waived credit report requirements for the borrowers.

A specific instance of Padilla’s fraud was listed in the criminal complaint. He recruited one individual to apply for a $58,000 “equipment loan”. The loan was secured with a 2015 Bobcat E35i Compact Excavator and a 2015 Bobcat 418 T4. In reality, Padilla knew his friend did not have this equipment and the loan was going to be unsecured.

BancFirst funded the loan in November 2018 for $58,000 and issued a cashier’s check for the same amount made payable to the individual. On the same date, the $58,000 was used to purchase another cashier’s check for $53,000 in the name of a second person. The check was deposited into a credit union account that Padilla controlled.

Neither Padilla nor the borrower made any payments on the loan, and BancFirst eventually charged off the $58,000 in February 2020.

Criminal Complaint