Bank #executive, former #OU punter pleads #guilty in #bank #fraud case

Two brothers, both punters at the University of Oklahoma who went on to find careers in finance, have now pleaded guilty to bank-related fraud and embezzlement charges.

Blake Brian Ferguson, 36, entered guilty pleas Monday to all four counts in a criminal information filed Sept. 19, by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Tulsa.

Ferguson, a senior vice president of Firstar Bank, N.A., faced three counts of bank fraud and one count of conducting an unlawful monetary transaction stemming from conduct that allegedly occurred between January 2013 and September 2015.

His brother, former Firstar Bank President Jeffrey Scott Ferguson, pleaded guilty earlier to federal felony charges.

Federal prosecutors had charged Blake Ferguson with using his position at the bank to fraudulently use funds from customer accounts and the bank to pay gambling debts. In his plea agreement with prosecutors, Blake Ferguson admitted the loss totaled $582,810, although all but $144,160 has already been repaid, records show.

The plea agreement calls for Blake Ferguson to repay the remaining portion, split between Firstar and two individuals.

The charges alleged Blake Ferguson would pay off his gambling debts by fraudulently increasing Firstar customer lines of credit, advancing customer loan proceeds, approving customer account overdrafts and drawing funds from customer accounts. Blake Ferguson also processed fraudulent loans for himself so he could use the proceeds to pay his bookies, according to the charge.

Jeffrey Ferguson, 39, meanwhile, pleaded guilty almost one year ago to a two-count criminal information stemming from the theft of $620,000 from Firstar customer accounts

Federal prosecutors charged Jeffrey Ferguson on Oct. 6, 2015, with embezzling from the bank and filing a false tax return. He faces up to 30 years in prison when he is sentenced, currently scheduled for Feb. 26.

Bank officials said both brothers were fired after they learned of the schemes. All funds related to Jeffrey Ferguson’s theft have been recovered, Firstar Bank officials said at the time.

Jeffrey Ferguson played on OU’s 2000 championship team and was later named an All-American.

Blake Ferguson also faces a statutory maximum 30 years in prison when he is sentenced Feb. 6, 2018.

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