The massive bank fraud case involving Lee Farkas and other members of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. has led to numerous prison sentences, with more coming every week. The mortgage company’s fraud scheme led to the financial collapse of both Taylor Bean and Colonial bank, one of the largest banks in the country. This week, the former treasurer and former president of the Ocala-based company were sentenced to 6 and 2.5 years in prison, respectively. More penalties will be forthcoming.

Federal prosecutors have vigorously pursued the officers of Taylor Bean for their participation in a long-running bank fraud scheme. The scheme included an attempt to qualify for nearly a half of a billion dollars in U.S. government relief through the TARP program. The prosecution has centered on the actions of former Taylor Bean Chairman Lee Farkas, who was found guilty of 14 counts of fraud in his April trial.

Many of the remaining officers and executives at Taylor Bean cooperated in the investigation of Mr. Farkas and some of the sentences handed down have reflected as much. Lee Farkas, himself, is to be sentenced on June 27. Each of the 14 counts carries a potential penalty of 30 years in prison.

Taylor Bean was responsible for selling up to $500 million in fake loan assets to Colonial. In addition, Taylor Bean hid operating expenses and misrepresented their financial data shareholders. The full scope of the plan is still the subject of ongoing investigation by federal officials. The total damage of the fraud scheme has been estimated at $2.9 billion.

Source: Ocala.com, “TBW officers get prison,” Suevon Lee, 10 June 2011

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