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Friday, October 8, 2010

Ex-Park Avenue Bank Chief Antonucci Pleads Guilty to Embezzling TARP Money

Charles Antonucci, the former president of Park Avenue Bank in Manhattan, pleaded guilty to charges he lied to regulators and embezzled bank funds. Antonucci, 59, told U.S. District Judge Naomi Buchwald today that he lied to get more than $11 million in federal bailout funds for the bank, took bribes and embezzled money and participated in a scheme to defraud Oklahoma insurance regulators in the $37.5 million sale of an insurer that was later forced into receivership. Prosecutors said Antonucci is the first person convicted of trying to defraud the U.S. Troubled Asset Relief Program, which was passed by Congress to prop up threatened banks. Antonucci pleaded guilty to criminal counts including fraud, bribery, embezzlement and conspiracy. Antonucci, who was arrested in March, is free on $2 million bail. He faces as much as 20 years in prison on the most serious counts when he’s sentenced in April.

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