Grand Jury Charges Former St. Bernard Parish Assistant District Attorney and Two Associates with Bank Fraud and Money Laundering Offenses
NEW ORLEANS (STL.News) U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that a grand jury returned an indictment on December 10, 2021, against GLENN E. DIAZ, age 70, of Arabi; PETER J. “PETE” JENEVEIN, age 56, of Panama City, Florida; and MARK S. GRELLE, age 67, of Chalmette, for bank fraud and money laundering charges related to defrauding First NBC Bank, the New Orleans-based bank that failed in April 2017.
According to the 19-count indictment, from at least April 2016 through December 20, 2016, DIAZ, JENEVEIN, and GRELLE conspired to defraud First NBC Bank through a series of false invoices for work purportedly done at a Florida warehouse owned by DIAZ. As set forth in the indictment, DIAZ was a customer of First NBC Bank from 2006 through the bank’s closure in 2017. By late 2015, DIAZ had been overdrawing his checking account for purported business expenses, although DIAZ was depositing these overdrafts into his personal account at another bank.
In April 2016, First NBC Bank officers were asking DIAZ for additional information about the use of the overdrafts. In June 2016, bank officers began requiring invoices as proof that DIAZ was spending bank funds on improving the Florida warehouse.
Thereafter, DIAZ had his associate JENEVEIN provide invoices for improvements on the Florida warehouse performed by GRELLE’s company, Grelle Underground Services LLC. Bank officers then approved the overdrafts based on these invoices. However, after DIAZ wrote the check to GRELLE’s company, GRELLE would then write a check back to DIAZ, which DIAZ would deposit into his personal account at JPMorgan Chase bank. DIAZ then used the money for expenditures unrelated to the Florida warehouse project. In total, DIAZ, JENEVEIN, and GRELLE executed a total of 17 round-trip transactions that defrauded First NBC Bank of $345,841.41.
DIAZ, JENEVEIN, and GRELLE are all charged in each of the 19 counts of the indictment. Count 1 charges the defendants with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1344 and 1349. The maximum penalties that may be imposed upon conviction are up to 30 years in prison, a maximum fine of the greater of $1,000,000.00 or twice the gross gain to the defendants or twice the gross loss; up to five years of supervised release; and a $100 mandatory special assessment fee.
In Count 2, DIAZ, JENEVEIN, and GRELLE are charged with conspiring to commit money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1956(a)(1)(B)(i) and 1956(h). If convicted, they face a maximum of up to 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of the greater of $500,000.00 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction, up to three years of supervised release, and $100 mandatory special assessment fee.
In Counts 3 through 19, DIAZ, JENEVEIN, and GRELLE are charged with bank fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1344. As to each count, the defendants may receive a maximum of up to 30 years in prison, a maximum fine of the greater of $1,000,000.00 or twice the gross gain to the defendants or twice the gross loss, up to five years of supervised release, and a $100 mandatory special assessment fee.
“The FBI is determined to identify, investigate, and bring to justice those who are committing financial crimes to enrich themselves at the expense of others,” said Douglas A. Williams, Jr., Special Agent in Charge, FBI New Orleans. “The FBI remains committed to investigating those who engage in white-collar crimes that impact our financial institutions.”
“We will vigorously pursue any wrongdoers whose fraudulent actions impact the safety and soundness of financial institutions regulated by the Federal Reserve Board,” said Stephen Donnelly, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Eastern Region, Office of Inspector General for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
U.S. Attorney Evans reiterated that an indictment is merely an accusation and that the guilt of the defendants must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Office of Inspector General; and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew R. Payne, Nicholas D. Moses, J. Ryan McLaren, K. Paige O’Hale, and Rachal Cassagne are in charge of the prosecution.