TRENTON, N.J. – A Burlington County, N.J., man was arrested this morning for allegedly orchestrating a large scale check-kiting scheme that caused $8.8 million in losses to three banks in New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Luis G. Rogers Sr., 71, of Beverly, N.J., is charged by complaint with one count of bank fraud. He is scheduled to make his initial appearance today in Trenton federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovanni.
According to the complaint:
Rogers was the chief executive officer of Lease Group Resources Inc. (LGR), an office equipment leasing company based in Mount Holly, N.J., and was also the principal of several other business entities (the LGR Entities). From November 2012 through April 2013, Rogers maintained and controlled numerous checking accounts in the names of the LGR Entities at three separate banks: Liberty Bell Bank, Roma Financial, and Susquehanna Bank.
Rogers allegedly engaged in what is known as a “check-kiting” scheme – creating artificial balances in his bank accounts by causing checks to be written against the accounts knowing the money was not there to cover them. Rogers would allegedly deposit the checks into other accounts he controlled to artificially inflate the balances of those accounts. Rogers, or others acting on his behalf, allegedly deposited hundreds of millions of dollars into the LGR Entities’ accounts, amounts that far exceeded LGR’s annual revenues. In April 2013, the banks discovered the scheme and either returned or dishonored many of the pending checks and charged back the amounts of the checks against the LGR Entities’ accounts. This resulted in the accounts being overdrawn and the banks sustaining millions of dollars in losses. Specifically, Liberty Bell lost $3.7 million, Roma Bank lost $2.1 million, and Susquehanna lost $3 million.
The charge of bank fraud carries a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford, for the investigation leading to today’s arrest.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas P. Grippo of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.
The charges and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless proven guilty.