September 8, 2017
By Bob Coleman
Editor, Fraud Friday
Fraud Friday — Oklahoma Bank President Charged for Fraud in Overdraft Scheme
Defense attorney Gary James said Ward isn’t contesting the charge and plans to enter a guilty plea. The attorney said Ward also was “carrying overdrafts” for certain customers, friends and family for long periods of time.
“He tried to help a lot of people out there, and it just doesn’t coincide with what the federal requirements are on banking anymore,” James told The Oklahoman. “Banking was done a little differently than it is in … an urban-type area.”
“The object of the conspiracy was to allow bank insiders to misapply the funds of the bank by engaging in financial transactions that used the deposits and assets of (the bank) to pay personal checks, business checks and Automated Clearing House debits when their bank accounts had insufficient funds to cover the transactions,” according to prosecutors. “This activity also resulted in a significant understatement of overdrafts reported on (the bank’s) balance sheets and quarterly reports submitted to the FDIC.”
Bank insiders caused bank ledgers and records to be manipulated, prosecutors allege.
Camargo Bank was closed by regulators in 2011.
Stephen was recently hired to coach Woodward High School’s baseball team.
Prosecutors have been in long discussions regarding the case.
Two other former bank employees previously were charged in the alleged conspiracy.
The use of “the holds” and a dormant account allowed the bank insiders to disguise the actual overdraft problem, according to prosecutors.
“At times, the amount of insufficiently funded checks in ‘the holds’ exceeded $3 million,” prosecutors allege.
During the alleged conspiracy, Ward and other bank insiders wrote checks that exceeded the amount of money held in their personal and business accounts, according to prosecutors. Rather than allowing the checks to be processed and returned because of insufficient funds, bank insiders caused the checks to be placed in “the holds” or charged to a dormant account, prosecutors allege.
Ward used the misapplied bank funds to make various payments, according to the charge.