August 23, 2002 at 10:47 AM CDT - Updated July 2 at 11:40 PM
Call him the Cajun Robin Hood. A Eunice man who falsified financial records so the bank he worked for wouldn't forclose on his customers is now facing prison time after federal authorities caught on to his scheme.
When his clients couldn't make good on the loans they received from Saint Landry Bank in Eunice, Vice President Ronald Ardoin used 40 thousand dollars of his own money to make their back payments. His money soon ran out, but Ardoin didn't want to foreclose on the customers in this small rural town.
So Ardoin began taking out loans in the name of fictitious customers to pay off the delinquent loans of real customers. He made loan payments for the fictitious customers from the accounts and credit lines of real ones. But the FBI eventually caught on and Ardoin pleaded guilty yesterday to a federal charge of making false entries in the records of a financial institution. He faces a maximum penalty of up to 30 years prison.