Search This Blog

Monday, September 19, 2011

A former La Coste National Bank vice president was sentenced to five years' probation in Texas

A former La Coste National Bank vice president was sentenced to five years' probation for embezzling $30,000 from the now-defunct financial institution.

Mary Magdalene Crawford, of Atascosa, also must pay $40,000 in restitution; she's already repaid about $37,000 — some of which came from a retirement account that she had at the bank.

The embezzlement was uncovered in February 2010 after the bank was shut down by regulators because of an unrelated scheme.

Before sentencing Crawford, Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery asked her why she was in his courtroom.

“I just made a mistake,” Crawford softly answered.

“No ma'am,” Biery said. “You're a crook. You're a thief.”

Crawford later said she was sorry “that it happened.”

According to Crawford's plea agreement filed last fall, she stated she fraudulently prepared 10 cashier's checks worth $3,000 each. She then cashed the checks in late 2009 and used most of the money to pay bills.

In addition, the plea agreement stated that she stole $10,000 from the bank's vault. That charge was dropped as part of the plea, though the money was included in the amount that must be repaid.

La Coste National Bank was shut down by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was appointed receiver.

The bank's failure was blamed on the “the write-off of $7.3 million in fictitious investment securities alleged created by” then-President Jody P. Gwyn “to conceal his approval of payments made from bank funds on loans and significant overdrafts for a bank customer,” according to an audit report by the Treasury Department's Office of Inspector General.

The loans were well in excess of the bank's lending limits. The customer never has been publicly identified.

Gwyn was sentenced in April to five years in federal prison. He also must make $8.3 million in restitution for the losses sustained by the bank.

Crawford has been credited with already serving a year of probation. The probation could be terminated in two years if she gets in no further trouble and she pays back the remaining restitution.

La Coste's assets were acquired last year by Community National Bank of Hondo.

Read more:

No comments:

Post a Comment