Enid banker, civic leader ac­cused of em­bez­zling

The Oklahoman - - BUSINESS - BY JACK MONEY Busi­ness Writer jmoney@ok­la­homan.com

Ernst Cur­rier, a long­time Enid banker who’s a for­mer mayor and who served un­til re­cently on the board of ed­u­ca­tion for Enid Pub­lic Schools, was ar­rested Tues­day on 33 felony com­plaints tied to ac­cu­sa­tions he made dozens of fraud­u­lent loans.

Cur­rier, who served as the city’s mayor from 2004 through 2007, is ac­cused of cre­at­ing the loans through his po­si­tion as a loan of­fi­cer and then as a se­nior vice pres­i­dent at Se­cu­rity Na­tional Bank.

An af­fi­davit states that Cur­rier ob­tained in­for­ma­tion he needed to open the fraud­u­lent loans through his po­si­tion at the bank, and also through his ac­tiv­i­ties at a lo­cal Bap­tist church and through his role as a com­mu­nity leader.

The bank dis­cov­ered at least some of the prob­lem loans ear­lier this year, ac­cord­ing to an af­fi­davit filed as part of the case. Dur­ing the first week of Septem­ber, three in­di­vid­u­als con­tacted the Enid Po­lice De­part­ment to re­port they had

been con­tacted by the bank about loans that each of the men said they knew noth­ing about.

That prompted a twom­onth in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which ended with Cur­rier's ar­rest.

The af­fi­davit ac­cuses Cur­rier of hav­ing opened 61 fraud­u­lent loans for a to­tal of about $6.2 mil­lion in the names of at least nine in­di­vid­u­als and eight other fic­ti­tious peo­ple. The af­fi­davit said com­bined out­stand­ing bal­ances re­main­ing on

those loans as of Tues­day was about $1.8 mil­lion.

A dozen of the crim­i­nal com­plaints ac­cuse Cur­rier of ob­tain­ing money by false pre­tenses, an of­fense pun­ish­able by im­pris­on­ment of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $5,000.

An­other dozen of the crim­i­nal com­plaints ac­cuse Cur­rier of sec­ond-de­gree forgery, an of­fense pun­ish­able by im­pris­on­ment of up to seven years.

Seven com­plaints ac­cuse Cur­rier of falsely im­per­son­at­ing an­other to cre­ate li­a­bil­ity, an of­fense pun­ish­able by im­pris­on­ment of up to 10 years.

Cur­rier also is ac­cused of ob­tain­ing un­law­ful pro­ceeds, an of­fense pun­ish­able by im­pris­on­ment of five to 20 years and a civil penalty of up to three times the value of the prop­erty in­volved in the trans­ac­tions, and of mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion of funds (em­bez­zle­ment), pun­ish­able by im­pris­on­ment of up to five years and a fine of up to $100,000.

Cur­rier re­signed from the board of ed­u­ca­tion for Enid Pub­lic Schools on Sept. 13, board min­utes show.

Af­ter his ar­rest, Cur­rier was re­leased on bail, po­lice said.

Ernst Cur­rier

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