September 11, 2015
By Bob Coleman
Editor, Fraud Friday
Fraud Friday — Ex-CEO, TARP’s First Conviction Gets 2 ½ Years
Charles Antonucci was the first banker convicted of TARP banking fraud. After cooperating with the feds, he was sentenced to 2 ½ years in prison for lying to regulators and embezzling bank funds.
The former CEO of New York city-based Park Avenue Bank was responsible for ripping off $54 million from the bank says his judge.
“Even though he’s cooperating, he committed enormous crimes,” says Judge Buchwald. “It isn’t enough to say, ‘I’ve been caught, I’ll cooperate and all is right with the world’ and just say ‘I’ll go home.’ The harm here was $54 million. He literally robbed a bank. Bank robbers just don’t leave the courtroom.”
One of his schemes was laundering $6.5 million in loans through a variety of companies. One of the companies hired him as a “consultant.” Charles then took the $6.5 million and received 300,000 shares of newly issued common stock. The appearance? The bank received a $6.5 million capital infusion.
That didn’t work.
“The fact is that Mr. Antonucci committed a number of very serious crimes over a lengthy period of time, when he was a fully formed adult and at a time when he had the capacity to earn a good living lawfully,” continues the judge. “Even today, I’ve not heard an excuse or an explanation for this serious conduct. The only one that comes to mind is greed.”
Charles is ordered to surrender to federal prison authorities on Nov. 2 and directed to forfeit $11.2 million and pay a fine of $54 million.