A U.S. District Court jury convicted a former Lawrence bank executive of participating in a scheme relying on fraudulent claims to secure $15.2 million in construction loans involving more than two dozen banks in Kansas.
Troy Gregory, 52, was found guilty of four counts of bank fraud and two counts of false statements by jurors. The convictions Monday mirror the indictment of Gregory in November 2017 with the exception of one count of conspiracy for which the jury didn't reach a verdict.
He is to be sentenced Jan. 28 by U.S. District Court Judge Carlos Murguia in Kansas City, Kan.
The case involving Gregory stemmed from the housing construction gold rush in Junction City more than a decade ago that was driven by an opportunity to provide homes for U.S. Army soldiers and their families making the transition back to Fort Riley. The division's headquarters returned to Kansas in 2006.
Gregory, senior lending officer and a senior vice president at University National Bank from 2005 to 2009, was involved in a 2007 effort to obtain the construction loan for bank customers attempting to build an apartment complex in Junction City.
Gregory had previously made millions of dollars in loans to the same borrowers, who were struggling to make payments on that debt.
Federal prosecutors said University National Bank, of Lawrence, spread the loan to 25 other banks based on false statements by Gregory and others about financial strength of the borrowers, existence of $1.7 million in certificates of deposit for collateral on the loan and the debt status of the apartment property.
Instead of using loan funds promised to build apartments, prosecutors said, Gregory diverted more than $1 million of the loan to pay for part of certificates of deposit pledged as collateral, pay off debt on the apartment property and make payments on unrelated loans.
Other Kansas banks sharing in the loan wouldn't have participated without the false representations and subsequently had to write off millions of dollars on the $15.2 million construction loan, prosecutors said.
The decision to transfer 1st Infantry Division to Fort Riley inspired speculation on new housing in Junction City resulting in a series of criminal cases and a flurry of lawsuits.
In 2010, Lawrence developer David Freeman was sentenced to 18 months in prison for paying a $10,000 bribe to Junction City commissioner Michael Wunder in exchange for help landing a pair of housing projects.
The financial wrangling, including allegations of money laundering, conspiracy and bank fraud, contributed to financial collapse in 2011 of Schmidt Builders Supply, a Topeka company.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. office of inspector general, Federal Housing Finance Agency inspector general and the U.S. Department of Justice's criminal division handled the case against Gregory.