2 sentenced to prison in Hammond bank fraud case

A federal judge in New Orleans on Thursday sentenced a former president of a Hammond bank and a Covington man to prison terms.

The judge also ordered Reginald R. Harper, former president of First Community Bank, and Troy A. Fouquet, of Covington, to pay $570,955 in restitution plus interest to the bank, federal officials reported.

U.S. District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown sentenced Harper to two years in prison to be followed by three years of supervision, a release from the U.S. Department of Justice says.

The judge sentenced Fouquet to 18 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervision, said U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Harper loaned more than $2 million to Fouquet and his companies, the release says.

Court documents show that Harper made loans to prospective home buyers to make it appear to the mortgage lender that buyers had more money than they actually had, Boente said.

The men also used “straw borrowers” to sign up for loans authorized by Harper, and the proceeds of those loans were used to pay off the original loans made to Fouquet and his companies, according to the U.S. attorney’s news release.

Ultimately, Harper and Fouquet caused the bank to suffer severe financial losses, Boente said.