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Breaking news | Ex-Texas bank chairman gets 8 years for bogus loans and arson in attempt to cover up fraud

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A former Texas bank president who issued millions in bogus loans over nearly a decade and set fire to try to cover up the fraud was sentenced to eight years in prison Tuesday, prosecutors said.

Anita Gail Moody, 57, pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and arson.

She was ordered to pay more than $ 11 million in restitution, which the now-closed Enloe State Bank she ran, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas said.

Moody was president of Cooper’s Bank, about 80 miles northeast of Dallas, and the fraud she pleaded guilty to began in 2012.

In May 2019 – a day before the Texas banking department conducted a review – Moody set the bank’s conference room on fire with files left on a table, all of which were burned, prosecutors said.

She had created more than 100 fraudulent loans over the years, prosecutors said in court documents.

She used some of the money in her boyfriend and friends’ businesses, for her family, and for her own lifestyle, including a Jeep. Other federal investigators said some of the loans were taken to pay interest and principal for the others, so nothing appears to be abnormal.

A request for comment from Moody’s attorney was not immediately returned Tuesday evening.

Her lawyer argued in court documents that Moody had worked for the bank her entire adult life and described a life out of control, adding that she first lent money out of sympathy, but in 2012, began to use the loans for herself.

“Criminal conduct that affects the financial health of a small local lender can have a negative ripple effect throughout the community,” Interim US Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei said in a statement.

The bank was shut down by the Texas Department of Banking in 2019. It was licensed in 1928. At the time, the department said it was forced to do so “because of insider abuse and frauds by former officers ”.

Former bank vice president Jeannie Swaim pleaded guilty to one count last year and was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay more than $ 410,000 in restitution, according to the office of the US attorney and court records.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which insures the deposits, was appointed receiver after the bank went bankrupt. The loss to the agency’s deposit insurance fund was about $ 21 million, according to an inspector general report.

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