Monday, August 27, 2012

Man pleads guilty to bank fraud, wire fraud

U.S. Department of Justice

An Overland Park man has pleaded guilty to swindling banks and investors out of more than $5 million, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.

Ronald D. Catrell, 46, Overland Park, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, one count of money laundering and one count of wire fraud.

In his plea, Catrell admitted devising a scheme in which he defrauded Kansas City area financial institutions including Valley View Bank, Bank of the West and Marshall & Ilsley Bank by providing them with false financial information in order to obtain lines of credit and loans.

He obtained a $1.3 million line of credit from Valley View Bank in Overland Park, Kan., by providing false information that he had more than $279,000 in an account at Metcalf Bank when in fact his balance there was less than $2,200.  He also provided false tax returns and financial statements to the bank.

He arranged for a person calling himself “Bill Campbell” to call a loan officer at Valley View Bank to claim that Catrell had more than $2.7 million invested with him. During the conversation, the caller said he was in an office overlooking New York City at 244 Fifth Avenue on the 18th floor, Suite 1882.

In fact, Catrell had only a rented mail box at that address and the building was only four stories.

Catrell borrowed $750,000 from Bank of the West in Lee’s Summit, Mo., by giving the bank much of the same fraudulent information he gave Valley View Bank.

He obtained a $1 million line of credit from M&I Bank for his company, Software4Biz Consulting using fraudulent documents.

Catrell also co-founded a company called BlueValley Capital Management, LLP. Partners in the venture invested $50,000 to start the fund. When soliciting investors, Catrell made false statements overstating the annual return of the partners’ investments. When one of the co-founders requested an audit, Catrell provided a report with false information. He also falsely claimed to have the ability to purchase pre-initial public offering stock in Facebook. At the time, Facebook was not a publicly traded company.

Sentencing is set for Dec. 3. Both parties have agreed to recommend a sentence of 120 months in federal prison and restitution of more than $5.7 million.

Grissom commended the FBI and Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Oakley for their work on the case.