An Asheville attorney is facing charges of bank fraud.
David Payne is accused of collecting $1.6 million dollars in fraudulent loans.
The eight count indictment issued by the grand jury charges Payne with four counts of bank fraud and four counts of false statement to a bank. Payne made his first appearance Wednesday at the Asheville Federal Courthouse.
The federal indictment claims Payne executed a scheme in 2009 to defraud three western North Carolina banks. He’s accused of misrepresenting his financials and using businesses he controlled to secure the loans.
News 13 reached out to David Payne and his law firm on Wednesday. They provided the following statement:
“Mr. Payne is a respected lawyer and, more importantly, a good person, who has built a career around protecting the underdog. Many of his clients and colleagues are well aware that Mr. Payne has long been a staunch advocate for those victimized by banks, and he has worked aggressively to hold financial institutions accountable for their predatory practices. Mr. Payne vehemently denies the allegations brought against him today in federal court — allegations which may be part of a veiled response to his professional efforts against the banking system. Conspicuously, these charges involve loan transactions that occurred nearly a decade ago, during the height of the national mortgage crisis. Regardless of what motivated today’s claims, Mr. Payne remains confident in the sanctity of the justice system and, in particular, the truth-finding power of the jury. In due time, we believe that this process will completely vindicate him of any wrongdoing, whether criminal or otherwise.”