The president of a Louisiana mortgage company pleaded guilty to defrauding the bank that provided his warehouse line of credit out of $2.9m, according to Donald Washington, US attorney for the Western District of Louisiana. William Nichols, 56, of Alexandria, La., is the president and sole shareholder of First Fidelity Mortgage. According to the US attorney, Nichols admitted to forging signatures of borrowers and notaries public to create fraudulent mortgage documents. Nichols then would use the documents as collateral so the Many, La.-based Sabine State Bank would deposit additional funds to his line of credit. When the bank deposited the money into First Fidelity’s account to fund the mortgages, Nichols kept the money for himself, Washington said. “Nichols helped himself to millions of dollars of other people’s money through his deceit and deception. Individuals who lie and steal money from banks insured by the American taxpayer should expect to be swiftly prosecuted and punished,” Washington said. Nichols faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, a $1m fine, or both and will be sentenced in February 2010. He remains detained without bond. Write to Austin Kilgore.