A Billings man accused in a $43 million bank fraud scheme has admitted to wire fraud.
Todd Capser, 47, pleaded guilty to the charge on Tuesday in federal court for the Southern District of New York.
Capser was charged in May with wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy and aggravated identity theft. Prosecutors accused him of providing misleading information about his assets to leverage $43.3 million from a Toronto lender, identified in a related civil case as Third Eye Capital Corp.
The money was to pay for chemical and oil shipping tankers bought from a Hong Kong shipping firm. Capser apparently bought the tankers at $20 million apiece with the intention of leasing them back to the shipping company for $8,500 a day, according to the indictment.
Afterward, Capser allegedly solicited similar investments from at least nine other lenders. Activities in the indictment begin in 2016.
Prosecutors say Capser falsely told the banks he sought loans and falsely said his daughter was terminally ill with cancer in an attempt to "engender sympathy, deflect questions, and explain suspicious behavior," the indictment states.
Third Eye Capital Corp., of Toronto has sued Capser and his father, Edward Michael Capser, in a related case.
No plea deal has been filed stipulating dismissal of the two remaining charges in the criminal case.
Prosecutor Benjamin Schrier did not immediately return a call seeking clarification on the remaining charges. Defense attorney Philip Weinstein also did not immediately return a call.
Sentencing on the wire fraud count is set for Nov. 8. Capser faces a maximum of 20 years in prison on the charge.