Norton Rose Fulbright secures dismissal of charges in Illinois loan fraud case

United States Press release - Business December 11, 2019

A litigation team from Norton Rose Fulbright's New York office recently secured a dismissal of three charges of fraud and submitting false statements on a bank loan application brought against its client, Ryan Cole of Garland, Texas.

With a month-long trial set to begin on Jan. 13, 2020, in a Chicago federal court, US District Judge John Lee dismissed the charges with prejudice against Cole, who had pleaded not guilty and maintained his innocence throughout.

The judge also dismissed charges brought against the other two defendants, James Graber and Kristin King, loan executives at an Illinois bank that loaned US$3 million to an investment group of which Cole was part.

Carlos Ortiz, Mayling Blanco, Megan Linares, and Devlin Healey (New York), mounted a vigorous defense of Cole. This included filing, along with the co-defendants' counsel, significant motions in limine in the weeks preceding the dismissal that diminished main elements of the government's case.

Ortiz, a seasoned trial lawyer with significant white collar defense and investigations experience, said:

"We are very pleased with the government's decision to completely drop these charges against our client and the other defendants. It's been a real honor to defend Ryan, and we're very happy that he and his family will be able to move on from this chapter in his life."

The defendants were accused of participating in a complicated loan fraud scheme centered around an Illinois multitenant commercial building. In a multi-count indictment originally filed in 2017 (Case No. 17 CR 50040), prosecutors contended that the fraud scheme was motivated by the parties' desire to pay off a loan secured by the building.

When requesting dismissal of the case at a hearing on Dec. 9, a prosecutor told the court that the government would have "difficulty proving each of the elements of the charged offenses."

The prosecutor also told Judge Lee that the government's investigation of the matter was over and would not be pursued. Judge Lee then dismissed the case with prejudice.

Greenberg Traurig represented Graber, and Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila served as counsel for King.