January 3, 2020
By Caity Witucki
Contributing Editor, Fraud Friday
Fraud Friday– Three Men Sentenced for Defrauding CB&T City Bank of $5 Million
Three co-conspirators involved in a multi-million dollar fraud scheme have been sentenced for their crimes. On Monday, December 16, 2019, former CB&T City Bank President, McDonald Hardin, was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment, three years supervised release and ordered to pay $3.3 million in restitution after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. His co-conspirators, Steve Stokeling and Joseph Askew are also facing prison sentences and hefty restitution fees.
According to court documents, from February 2008 to August of 2010, the three co-conspirators convinced their friends, family, and borrowers to sign loan documents without any expectation of receiving the loan proceeds. After the loan documents were signed, Hardin approved the loans and CB&T issued checks to Stokeling and several others for personal gain. The loan proceeds were then used to purchase cars and houses.
“Community banks are a cornerstone of our local economy. They employ our citizens, fund local businesses, support local organizations and bank our families. When criminals defraud local banks our office will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law,” says U.S. Attorney, Charlie Peeler. “The FDIC-OIG initiated this investigation after a tip from within CB&T. The FBI and FDIC-OIG did a tremendous job getting to the bottom of this complex loan scheme, and helping root out the fraud.”
“These sentencings hold the conspirators accountable for defrauding the bank of more than $5 million in a scheme designed to line their pockets,” says FDIC Inspector General Jay N. Lerner. “We are committed to working with our law enforcement partners to preserve the integrity of the banking system against insiders who abuse their positions to commit fraud.”
“The sentencing of these three subjects brings to a close a lengthy investigation and prosecution of a criminal enterprise that obtained fraudulent loans that caused extensive damage to a local community bank,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “This case is an example of the FBI’s commitment to combatting such criminal actions that defraud hard-working citizens.”