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Bank fraud charges filed against two men

The unraveling of an alleged scheme to net hundreds of thousands of dollars from two banks has landed two men in the custody of police, with one of them remaining behind bars until his trial. According to the authorities, these two men - a 43-year-old and 36-year-old, both from Baton Rouge, Louisiana - managed to receive two loans from two different banks. Prosecutors believe the loans, which were intended for the opening of a business, were never going to be used for this purpose. Instead, authorities think the men were going to use the money for themselves.

The first loan mentioned in the indictment of these two men involves a loan for $146,000 and allegations that the duo inflated both their business and personal assets to convince officials at the bank to loan them the money in September 2011. Two months later, the indictment accuses the men of performing the same scheme at a different bank, where it supposedly got this second bank to loan them more than $222,000. Both loans were reportedly intended to develop a facility called Powerhouse Gym of Baton Rouge.

According to reports, the men began selling memberships before the gym was in operation. This was a violation of state regulations and resulted in a suit filed by the state attorney general in February. It is unclear what happened in this lawsuit.

Fraud charges have been filed against both men. Records show the 43-year-old was charged with two counts of false statements to banks and two counts of bank fraud, while the 36-year-old was charged with two counts of wire fraud and two counts of bank fraud. It is likely both will need an attorney, considering the situation. The 36-year-old is currently out on bail, while the other will remain behind bars due to a discovery that he fled to Canada during a 2001 case against him. Records show that more than two years of prison time were added to his original sentence for his supposed flight.

Source:  Daily Journal, "Baton Rouge businessmen accused of bank fraud in gym scheme" No author given, Jun. 17, 2013

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