Banks gave millions in loans to fraudsters who simply made stuff up, feds say
Dallas
   
 
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Most 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.

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