Historic Bank Fraud Case


July 15, 2011

Historic Bank Fraud Case

It’s a case about the fraud that led to the sixth largest bank failure in United States history.


Audio Transcript

Mollie Halpern: It’s a case about the fraud that led to the sixth largest bank failure in United States history.

Scott Bean: What it boils down to is lying, cheating and stealing.

Halpern:  I’m Mollie Halpern of the FBI and this is “Gotcha.” The $2.9 billion scheme started when Taylor, Bean and Whitaker, a mortgage lending company, began overdrawing their accounts at Colonial bank. Employees at the bank conspired with TBW to fund TBW’s operations through falsified and double-pledged mortgage loans. Assistant Special Agent in Charge Scott Bean…

Bean: There were so many false mortgages being created that it just got completely out of everybody’s control.

Halpern: TBW owner Lee Farkas used his company to fund his extravagant lifestyle.

Bean: He owned several vintage cars; owned his own plane.

Halpern: When Colonial Bank fraudulently applied for $553 million in mortgage bailout money, it caught the attention of the FBI and its federal law enforcement partners. The Bureau served search warrants on the companies and followed the money…

Bean: It was an intensive document review.

Halpern: Farkas was sentenced to 30 years in prison and ordered to forfeit nearly $39 million. You’ve been listening to the FBI’s closed case of the week.

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