of Eddie Contreraz's clients either didn't work or didn't earn enough money to
qualify for loans, authorities say.
But that didn't stop them from
getting bank loans, credit cards and lines of credit with his help. Contreraz did so by studying lending patterns at various banks to
find out what information was required, according to federal prosecutors in
Dallas. Then he had his customers submit faked documents like pay
stubs, tax records and utility bills to qualify for the loans, prosecutors say.
Contreraz last week agreed
to plead guilty to bank fraud and now faces up to 30 years in federal prison
for his trickery, as well as a maximum fine of $1 million and restitution to
his victims, court records show. His schemes resulted in about $30 million in
loans being dispersed, according to plea documents.
The Dallas bank fraud case
exposes internal weaknesses at some banks such as lack of verification of
customer information, said Catherine A. Ghiglieri, the former Texas
banking commissioner who is now a bank consultant in Austin.