NEW ORLEANS, La. (KLFY) – Six people, five of whom are from Louisiana, have been indicted for allegedly conspiring to commit bank fraud and money laundering.

The six individuals charged are:

  • Ryan P. Mullen, 41, of Jayess, Ms.
  • Duane A. Dufrene, 55, of Destrehan, La.
  • Dillon J. Arceneaux, 31, of Marrero, La.
  • Lance M. Vallo, 37, of Gueydan, La.
  • Grant C. Menard, 35, of Kaplan, La.
  • Zeb O. Sartin, 35, of Lafayette, La.

According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Mullen and Dufrene conspired with Arceneaux, Vallo, Menard, and Sartin to use shell Louisiana companies with no assets to defraud a merchant cash company based in Georgia.

Mullen and Dufrene helped establish Arceneaux, Vallo, Menard, and Sartin as the owners of existing corporations and created fake vendor accounts for the corporations.

Mullen created false bank records, used an alias to hold himself out to be a broker, and supplied the victim merchant cash advance company with fake vendor accounts and false bank records to obtain funding, according to the press release.

The victim merchant cash advance company then began to electronically wire Arceneaux, Vallo, Menard, and Sartin millions of dollars in advances. They then laundered a portion of the funds by paying Mullen and Dufrene percentages of the funds.

The press release said that Arceneaux, Vallo, Menard, and Sartin then closed their non-existent businesses before repaying the victim merchant cash advance company, resulting in about $6.4 million in losses.

An indictment alleges that crimes have been committed. All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

If convicted, all face a maximum sentence of five years for the wire fraud conspiracy, a maximum sentence of 20 years for the money laundering conspiracy, and numerous fines.