The feds appear to be closing in on First NBC Bank founder Ashton Ryan Jr. with charges Tuesday against a Slidell contractor who worked on some of Ryan’s property while racking up a $22 million line of credit from the now-defunct bank.
The federal bill of information charges Jeffrey Dunlap, owner of Phoenix Civil Contractors, with conspiracy to defraud First NBC Bank. The charging document alleges “Bank President A” conspired with Dunlap to “unjustly enrich themselves.” Based on the description of “Bank President A” as First NBC’s founder who acted as president and CEO of the bank from May 2006 to December 2016, that could be only one person: Ashton Ryan Jr.
Dunlap was charged in a bill of information, indicating he is likely to take a plea deal to testify against Ryan and others. Ryan’s attorney, Eddie Castaing, denied to our partners at The New Orleans Advocate that his client committed any fraud.
The Advocate reported details of the Mandeville land deal in March , showing how Ryan had provided Dunlap a line of credit based on false financial statements and inflated accounts receivable, including what Ryan and his co-owner, Warren Treme, theoretically owed Phoenix for developing their 161-acre property.
Phoenix sued Ryan, alleging he stiffed Dunlap’s construction firm for $5.5 million of work. But according to the bill of information, when First NBC went belly-up, the balance on the credit line was $22 million.
For more details, click here for The Advocate’s full story.