Bank fraud charges brought against LaPlace man

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 6, 2011



LAPLACE – A LaPlace man who once owned a debt-collection business in Baton Rouge was recently charged in a bank fraud and identity theft scheme that allegedly cost Hancock Bank more than $126,000, according to a release from U.S. District Court.

William Ferguson is accused of 61 counts of bank fraud and three counts of aggravated identity theft, according to an indictment that was read in court July 13 by U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen C. Riedlinger. Ferguson is due back in court for trial on Sept. 6. He was released from jail without bail.

According to the indictment, in 2006, Ferguson allegedly opened an account at Hancock Bank in the name of his debt collection company, Bush & Kennedy Inc.

Ferguson then allegedly wrote and deposited checks to the company in the name of other people and companies, who were portrayed as customers.

Ferguson allegedly withdrew money from the account before bank officials discovered that the checks were written on accounts that were closed, nonexistent or insufficiently funded, according to the indictment.

According to the release, Ferguson’s business was ordered to stop doing business in 2009 after the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office accused the firm of using deceptive business practices. Ferguson now works as a used-car salesman in Kenner, according to the release.

Although he was released without bail, Ferguson was required to sign a pledge to appear for all court hearings and notify his current employer of the felony charges pending against him.