A Texan faces up to eight years in prison and a $1 million fine for bilking two banks by posing as a nobleman from France's wealthy Rothschild family.
A federal jury deliberated an hour Wednesday before convicting Maur Rothschild, 38, of fraud. Rothschild, who changed his name from Mario Cortez Jr. and had claimed to be a baron, faces sentencing Jan. 30.Defense attorney Matthew Martin said the banks were partly to blame.
"Don't you know the folks at these institutions began to salivate when they heard a member of the internationally known family of Rothschild had come to Durham," Martin said. "The banks were involved in his fantasy as well."
The charges involved credit and credit-card applications at the Duke Federal Credit Union and Wachovia Bank & Trust Co. in 1987 and 1989.
The prosecution refused to say how much money Rothschild obtained, but it was believed to be thousands of dollars.