January 16, 2015

By Bob Coleman
Editor, Fraud Friday

Rusty Beamon was a vice president at Appalachian Community Bank in Georgia and was in charge of the bank’s foreclosure liquidation department.

In 2009, Rusty represented to a real estate agent that he personally owned a house in Cumming, Ga. Beamon hired the agent to market and lease the property on his behalf. However, the property was owned by Appalachian Community Bank and was part of the bank’s foreclosure inventory.

Beamon’s real estate agent found someone to lease the property and negotiated a lease on Beamon’s behalf. Beamon then deposited into his personal bank account more than $20,000 in rent payments and security deposits that he obtained by leasing out the bank’s property as if he were the owner.

Beamon also caused the bank to sell bank-owned properties to his wife and to a shell company that he owned, all at prices that were substantially below what other buyers were ready, willing, and able to pay the bank.

Says Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for TARP, “Beamon was convicted after a jury found him guilty of using his position at TARP applicant Appalachian Community Bank to defraud the bank in order to line his own pockets.

“Beamon’s greed and self-dealing at the expense of the bank left holes in the bank’s books that the bank tried to fill when it applied for TARP funds. SIGTARP and our law enforcement partners will ensure that justice is served for perpetrators of fraud related to TARP.”

Appalachian Community Bank was closed by the regulators in March 2010.