A Destrehan man is facing a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison after pleading guilty last month to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of money laundering before U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana Jane Triche Milazzo.
Duane A. Dufrene, 54, is schedule for sentencing on Feb. 23, 2022.
As charged in the now unsealed indictment, Dufrene and a co-conspirator Ryan Mullen of Jayess, MS utilized fictitious entities, falsified tax returns, fraudulent financial statements and fraudulent appraisals to orchestrate their scheme to defraud lenders for the purchases of a home in Jayess, a bed and breakfast in Natchez, MS and two hotels in Natchez.
The sale of the Jayess residence was premised on false financial information provided by Dufrene to Mullen, who then gave it to State Bank and Trust. The sales of The Briars and the two hotels were not only premised upon false information prepared by Dufrene and given to the financial institutions by Mullen, but also upon inflated appraisals based on side sales agreements between Mullen and Dufrene.
After the sales of the bed and breakfast and hotel properties, Mullen paid Dufrene $90,000 while he pocketed over $3 million from the overvalued loans and used the proceeds to buy at least 20 high-end luxury cars – a number of which have been seized by the government.