Louisiana Man Now Faces Up to 25 Years After Pleading Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and Money Laundering

Published March 30, 2023

Louisiana Man Now Faces Up to 25 Years After Pleading Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and Money Laundering

New Orleans, Louisiana – A Louisiana man faces up to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering.

On March 29, 2023, U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans of the Eastern District of Louisiana announced that Grant C. Menard, age 36 and a resident of Kaplan, Louisiana, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering before U.S. District Court Judge Jane Triche-Milazzo.

According to court records, Menard collaborated with Ryan Mullen, Duane Dufrene, Dillon Arceneaux, Lance Vallo, and Zeb Sartin to swindle a merchant cash advance company situated in Georgia by using a series of shell Louisiana corporations with no assets.
Mullen and Dufrene aided in the establishment of Arceneaux, Vallo, Menard, and Sartin as owners of existing firms.
Mullen and Dufrene then constructed bogus vendor accounts for the corporations, and Mullen, with the assistance of another individual, fabricated bogus bank records for the corporations. Mullen then assumed a pseudonym and pretended to be a broker for the companies he helped establish.

Mullen used another broker to supply the victim merchant cash advance company with bogus vendor accounts and bank data in order to receive funds. The victim cash advance firm approved the loans and began electronically wiring millions of dollars in advances to Arceneaux, Vallo, Menard, and Sartin. Arceneaux, Vallo, Menard, and Sartin laundered some of the funds by giving Mullen and Dufrene percentages. Arceneaux, Vallo, Menard, and Sartin subsequently shut down their non-existent enterprises before fully repaying the victim merchant cash advance company, resulting in $6.4 million in total damages.

Menard was responsible for a total loss of $649,990 to the victim.

Menard is scheduled to be sentenced on July 5, 2023, and faces a maximum term of five years for wire fraud conspiracy and up to twenty years for money laundering conspiracy. Following imprisonment, the offender faces up to three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine for wire fraud and up to three years of supervised release and a $500,000 fine for money laundering. Each count is also subject to a $100 special assessment cost.

U.S. Attorney Evans praised the Federal Bureau of Investigation and IRS-Criminal Investigation special agents for their handling of the case. Assistant United States Attorneys Edward J. Rivera and Andre Lagarde are prosecuting the case.