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Former Regions Bank Manager Indicted for Embezzlement and Bank Fraud Scheme

April 16, 2024

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Louisiana

A federal grand jury recently returned a four-count indictment charging Eric Jason Schouest, age 53, of Plaquemine, Louisiana, with embezzlement and bank fraud.  Schouest appeared for his arraignment and pled not guilty to the pending charges. 

According to court documents, Schouest was employed at Regions Bank from 2010 to 2021 as a branch manager overseeing business transactions and practices at the Regions Bank Plank Road branch.  In his capacity as branch manager, Schouest had the authority to access customer accounts, instruct others to open and close accounts, issue cashier’s checks, and transfer funds in and out of bank customers’ accounts.

Beginning in or about 2020, and continuing through in or about April 2021, Schouest exploited his position of trust at Regions Bank to embezzle funds from customer accounts and deposit the money into his personal bank accounts.  Schouest would also send false and fraudulent emails and forged documents to other Regions Bank employees to conceal his scheme.  Schouest used some of the traceable fraudulent funds to make loan payments on personal items such as a house and a car.  Through his scheme, Schouest caused a loss to Regions Bank of more than $250,000. 

The embezzlement and bank fraud indictment counts are each punishable by a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a maximum $1 million fine.

This matter is being investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, the United States Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, and the U.S. Secret Service.  The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Criminal Chief Edward H. Warner and Litigation Counsel Jennifer M. Kleinpeter. 

NOTE: An indictment is an accusation by a grand jury.  The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless adjudicated guilty at trial or through a guilty plea.

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