Jul 13, 2011 9:04 AM by Lauren Wilson & AP

Former debt collector charged with bank fraud

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The former owner of a Baton Rouge debt-collection business has been released without bail after being charged with bank fraud and aggravated identity theft that allegedly cost Hancock Bank more than $126,000.
The Advocate reports William Ferguson of LaPlace appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen C. Riedlinger Tuesday.
Riedlinger told Ferguson he is scheduled for trial Sept. 6.
The judge noted that Ferguson was accused of 61 counts of bank fraud and three counts of aggravated identity theft.
The indictment alleges that Ferguson opened an account at Hancock Bank in the name of his debt-collection company then allegedly wrote and deposited checks to his company in the names of other people and companies portrayed as customers.


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