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Former Beulah Bank chairman sentenced to two counts of bank fraud | USAO-ND

BISMARCK — United States Attorney Mac Schneider announced that on February 15, 2023, United States District Court Judge Daniel M. Traynor sentenced Brady Daniel Torgerson, 35, of Beulah, North Dakota, to serve 24 months in a federal prison, three years probation, and a special assessment of $200.00. On November 4, 2022, law enforcement officials arrested Torgerson for these offenses and, on August 12, 2022, Torgerson pleaded guilty to two separate counts of bank fraud against financial institutions located in Beulah, North Dakota, i.e. say, First Security Bank-West and the Union Bank.

Between 2019 and 2021, while employed at separate times as president of First Security Bank-West and as a loan officer at Union Bank, Torgerson conducted banking transactions, which caused harm both to these banks and to individual customers of the banks. Specifically, while employed at First Security Bank-West, Torgerson financed loans without obtaining: 1) the necessary financial information; 2) warranty documents; or 3) change them. Additionally, Torgerson engaged in deceptive banking transactions by entering false information into the bank’s computer system, increasing loans to exceed original loan amounts, and extending loan expiration dates to hide his activities. Specifically, while employed at Union Bank, Torgerson created fraudulent loan obligations in amounts of $225,487.44 and $225,487.45 in the names of three separate individuals who neither knew of the creation of these loans nor received the funds described in these obligations.

“Bank fraud is a serious crime that damages the honest financial institutions that we have in North Dakota,” said US Attorney Mac Schneider. “This ruling is a credit to the skillful efforts of our career prosecutors and partners in law enforcement. It’s also a reminder that there is a high price to pay for white-collar crime.”

“The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-Office of Inspector General (FDIC-OIG) continues to investigate allegations of fraud by bank executives and others in order to preserve the integrity of the banking system,” said Justin Bundy, Special Agent FDIC Officer – OIG Kansas City Regional Office. “We are proud to have joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of North Dakota as well as our law enforcement partners in conducting this investigation.”

“We are busy investigating allegations of fraud committed against federal home loan banks or their members, particularly in cases where we detect flagrant criminal conduct by member bank officials,” said Catherine Huber, agent special officer of the Federal Housing Finance Agency – Office of the Inspector General (FHFA-OIG) Office of the Central Region. “Thank you to the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of North Dakota and our federal partners for helping us bring speedy justice in this case.”

The co-defendants in this investigation received the following sentences:

• Brent D. Torgerson (61, of Beulah, ND) received a reduced sentence (1 day in custody), 1 year probation, a $5,000 fine, and a ban on participating in banking activities on charges of enforcement Misapplication of Bank Funds • Kelly Huffman (34, of Beulah, ND) received a reduced sentence (1 day in custody), 1 year of probation and a $5,000 fine on charges of misapplication of bank funds • Tyler Steven Hofland (35, Rapid City, SD) received reduced sentence (1 day trial), 1 year supervised release and $98,163.40 in restitution on aiding and abetting and bank fraud charges

This case was investigated by the FDIC-OIG, FHFA-OIG and the Office of the Inspector General of the Federal Reserve Board and prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Jonathan J. O’Konek.


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