NEW ORLEANS, La. (KLFY) – A Kaplan man pleaded guilty to being responsible for $649,900 in losses to the victim in a conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering.
Grant C. Menard, 36, of Kaplan, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Louisiana.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that Menard considered with five others to use a number of shell Louisiana companies with no assets to defraud a merchant cash advance company based in Georgia.
Ryan Mullen, of Jayess, Ms., and Duane Dufrene, of Destrehan, helped establish Menard, Dillon Arceneaux, of Marrero, Lance Vallo, of Gueydan, and Zeb Sartin, of Lafayette, as the owners of existing corporations. Mullen and Dufrene then created fake vendor accounts for the corporations, and Mullen, with another person, created falsified bank records for the companies, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Mullen then used an alias, claiming to be a broker for the companies he helped create.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that Mullen supplied the victim merchant cash advance company with fake vendor accounts and false bank records to obtain funding. The victim cash advance company approved the advances and began to electronically wire Arceneaux, Vallo, Menard, and Sartin millions of dollars.
Arceneaux, Vallo, Menard, and Sartin then laundered a portion of the funds by paying Mullen and Dufrene percentages of the funds.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that they then closed their nonexistent business before fully repaying the victim merchant cash advance company. Resulting in an overall loss of around $6.4 million.
Menard was responsible for approximately $649,900 in losses to the victim.
Menard will be sentenced on July 5 and faces a maximum of five years on the wire fraud conspiracy and a maximum of up to 20 years on the money laundering conspiracy.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office also said that after imprisonment, Menard faces up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 on the wire fraud count and up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $500,000 on the money laundering count.