By: Esther Cho 04/08/2013
U.S. District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown sentenced Reginald R. Harper, the former CEO of First Community Bank of Hammond, Louisiana, to 24 months in prison, while Troy A. Fouquet, a local developer, was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Harper and Fouquet were also ordered to pay close to $571,000 in restitution.
In 2004, Harper loaned more than $2 million to Fouquet so he could buy land to develop into subdivisions and then build homes on them to sell to prospective homebuyers, according to court documents. When Harper and Fourquet were having trouble finding qualified homebuyers, they used “straw” buyers. Harper also made it appear as though prospective homebuyers had more money than they did when providing loans. To avoid reporting the delinquency on the loans, Fouquet provided insufficient checks, which Harper would accept and use to credit loan payments to First Community.
In a release, Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for TARP, said the scheme “caused significant losses to First Community Bank and jeopardized the bank’s financial stability and ability to serve its community.”
From DS News