ENID, Okla. — Search warrant affidavits filed Monday in an investigation of an ex-mayor and former Enid bank officer show one man's identity was stolen to secure two loans totaling $270,000.
Enid Police Department began investigating Ernst "Ernie" Currier on Sept. 5 after a report of an identity theft was made with the department, court records show.
At 12:14 p.m. Sept. 5, Enid Police Department received a report in reference to an identity theft at Security National Bank, where someone had taken out two loans for $125,000 and $145,000 in a man's name, according to the records. The man told police he received a call from SNB on Aug. 31 stating he had some delinquent farm equipment loans.
The man said he told the bank he never had a loan with that institution, according to the records. The bank confirmed the man's Social Security number, date of birth and phone number. The man told police the bank gave him an address for a post office box on South Cleveland. The man said he told the bank everything was correct except for the address.
The man told police he called Currier, his friend and senior vice president of commercial lending for Security National Bank, according to documents. The man said Currier told him he would take care of the problem and not to worry about the issue. The man said Currier told him it appeared to be "a banking error."
The man told police he was contacted by the post office asking about some mail in his name from Security National Bank marked return to sender from 610 S. Cleveland — the address of Sunset Plaza — on Sept. 1, according to the documents. The man said he had the mail redirected and it was delivered to him at a later time.
The man said he contacted Currier again Sept. 3 about the letters, and Currier told him not to worry and that he would take care of the issue when he got back from vacation, according to the documents. The man said he looked at the letters and saw one loan was from June 11, 2014, for $125,000 and the other loan was from Aug. 10, 2017, for $145,000.
The man said a short time later he received a call back from Currier. He said Currier admitted to taking out the loans in his name, according to the documents. The man said Currier told him that what he had done was illegal. He said Currier apologized to him and asked him for time before he told anyone.
The man said he called Currier on Sept. 4 and recorded the call, according to the documents. During the call, Currier can be heard apologizing and telling the man that it will not affect his credit, according to the documents. Currier told the man one of the loans was unsecured and the other was for farm equipment. Currier kept telling the man nothing would happen to him, his family or his property.
Detective James McFadden found Currier purchased 74 acres of land in the same time frame when the loans were taken out in the man's name, according to the documents. The 74 acres are in a trust for Currier's wife, Deborah Currier.
According to information from Garfield County Assessor's Office, the 74 acres of land on Leona Mitchell were purchased May 19, 2014, for $160,000.
During the investigation, police learned Currier moved funds from his account at Security National Bank to Bank of Kremlin, according to documents.
Enid Police Department has served more than two dozen search warrants in the investigation of Currier for the crimes of forgery, identity theft and knowingly concealing stolen property. Currier has not been charged.
According to one of the search warrant returns, police seized bank records, financial records, five cellphones, two iPads, three laptops and four recordable discs. Other search warrant returns show investigators also seized mailbox keys, SIM cards, flash drives and multiple delinquent notices.
Attorney Clint Claypole, who confirmed he is representing Currier, issued the following statement from his client Wednesday.
"We’ve been in contact with law enforcement from the beginning of this investigation,” Currier said. “We intend to cooperate fully with the investigators and look forward to it being completed as soon as possible.”
On Wednesday, SNB reassured its customers and said the bank continues to work with investigators.
"We take our commitment to our customers very seriously. Security National Bank is a very strong bank in part due to the trust people have placed in us for 112 years. We are taking every measure to protect ourselves, just as we have protected our customers. We are unable to comment on the ongoing investigation," said April Danahy, vice president of human resources and corporate communications for SNB. "The Enid Police Department’s professionalism and diligence into this extremely disheartening event is to be commended. They have worked side by side with us to identify those who may have been affected by this activity and to identify any and all other individuals who are involved.
"We appreciate their dedication to their profession. We continue to remain committed to helping local and federal investigators to ensure those involved are held accountable for their activity," she said. "We are thankful for the outpouring of support from customers, fellow businesses and the community. We appreciate the loyalty and confidence our customers have placed in us. We work diligently to provide the best services and products to our customers. Our commitment remains to be a strong, safe, and secure leader and community partner."
Currier is a Vance Air Force Base Partner in the Sky and Vance Development Authority member. He also serves on Leadership Greater Enid Board. He’s been active in teaching and mentoring young adults through First Baptist Church of Enid.
Currier, who was born in Buffalo, Okla., moved to Enid in 1971 after graduating from high school. The family moved here because Currier’s father, who was disabled, required medical care, he told the Enid News & Eagle in 2014. He was mayor during the last Base Realignment and Closure round in 2005, when Vance gained personnel.
Currier volunteered his time and was instrumental in getting voter approval of more than $90 million in financing for Enid Public Schools buildings in February 2016 and garnering voter approval for the Kaw Lake pipeline to secure Enid’s future water needs.
Currier resigned from Enid Public Schools Board Sept. 13 in a letter to Superintendent Darrell Floyd and members of the board.
The letter does not give a reason for the resignation but thanks the board members for their service.
Currier previously served as school board president.
"Mr. Currier was involved in the bond issue through his role as a board member (like all board members), but the campaign was coordinated/chaired by Chad Dillingham and Jimmy Stallings, who also served as the spokesmen and primary contacts," Enid Public Schools executive director of human resources and communications Amber Graham Fitzgerald wrote in an email.
Currier also acted as sales tax campaign chairman during the city of Enid's push for the $360 million Kaw Lake pipeline vote, which more than 68 percent of voters favored in a vote last August.
City Manager Jerald Gilbert said the city of Enid had no comment in regard to Currier's role in the campaign.