Saturday, July 22, 2017

First NBC is having an interesting week

The thing about Ashton Ryan's money club that got it into trouble in the first place was it was specifically designed to be a conduit for turning post-Katrina rebuilding grants and tax credits into piles of money that well placed socialites in the local "philanthropy" circles could play with. It's complicated but it's basically the laundering process through which New Market housing credits end up financing something like the WWII Museum expansion. Accordingly, the swells made Ryan into a hero.
First NBC was the creation of Ashton Ryan Jr., who chose a name that recalled First National Bank of Commerce, a prominent New Orleans bank that was acquired by Bank One in 1998.

As the new bank grew, so too did Ryan's celebrity, earning him status as the city's best-known banker, even though his bank was far from the biggest. He earned roughly $1.6 million in total compensation in 2015.

Over the years, he's been a regular presence within many of the city's civic groups, including the boards of Greater New Orleans Inc., the University of New Orleans Foundation and Junior Achievement of Greater New Orleans.

He's also been recognized for his civic contributions, including by the New Orleans Council for Community and Justice, which awarded Ryan its annual Weiss Award in 2014.
Now that the scheme has fallen apart, the direct line it draws through that whole scene is interesting.
Cantrell said the couple refinanced their home in 2013 in order to pay off the debt, with a portion of their regular mortgage payments intended to go toward their tax bill. Parish records confirm the couple obtained a mortgage from First NBC Bank that year for $210,000.

But the IRS apparently never received those payments from First NBC, and the agency put a lien on the property the following year, Cantrell said, blaming the bank for the error.

Cantrell said she expects the IRS to issue a letter soon indicating that the problem has been resolved, but she would not say whether she and her husband have paid off the entire tax bill at this point.

Whitney Bank took over the mortgage after First NBC went bust this spring, and Cantrell said she has asked that bank to provide a letter confirming her description of what happened.
I don't actually think LaToya's tax bill is a big deal. Bagneris's taxes are also in this story. It's not a scandal either. In LaToya's case it looks like a failed bank has screwed up her paperwork. It's not uncommon.  It is kind of a fun deal that the failed bank is First NBC, though.  Maybe that's a coincidence. It's a small town. 

No comments: