December 8, 2017
By Bob Coleman
Editor, Fraud Friday
Fraud Friday — Wisconsin Community Bank CEO Gets 2 Years in Jail for Fraud
“Bank executives who intentionally falsify bank records to deceive regulators must be brought to justice for their actions,” says Mark Bialek, Inspector General of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
“Such actions impact the safety and soundness of financial institutions. I commend our agents and their federal law enforcement partners for their hard work and persistence, which ultimately led to this conviction.”
Geffrey Sawtelle, 64 pled guilty five counts of loan fraud last year.
Geffrey used bank funds to support his hobby of auto sports racing. He created false bank entries and made false statements to federal bank examiners in order to hide his theft and misapplication of the bank funds.
From the indictment.
“Count Twenty-Two alleges that Mr. Sawtelle embezzled the proceeds of the sale of a 2002 Corvette, which Mr. Sawtelle had previously purchased and expensed to the Bank. Count Twenty-Three charges that Mr. Sawtelle transferred $20,000 from the Bank’s general ledger to his own checking account..”
In addition Geffrey took unauthorized salary bonuses and created nominee loans for his own benefit, and that upon the sale of the bank in 2015, he attempted to defraud his holding company partners through a wire fraud scheme that resulted in multiple money laundering counts. Farmer’s Exchange Bank was sold to Hometown Bank in November 2015.
The court also imposed a $20,000 fine, $500 in special assessments, and ordered Sawtelle to pay $338,000 in restitution. Following his prison sentence, Sawtelle will also serve two years of supervised release