Home Birmingham Press Releases 2009 Former Bank President Sentenced for Bank Fraud

Former Bank President Sentenced for Bank Fraud

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 21, 2009
  • Northern District of Alabama (205) 244-2001

BIRMINGHAM—U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor today sentenced the former president of First National Bank of Shelby County to six months in prison on two counts of bank fraud and one count of obstructing a bank examination, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance.

A federal jury convicted HELEN HARRISON PHILLIPS, 67, on July 31, after a four-day trial. The government had presented evidence that in October 2000, Phillips used her housekeeper to obtain a $45,000 loan, the proceeds of which Phillips used for her own purposes, which included paying $32,518 to the Internal Revenue Service. The loan was renewed and the scheme continued until the loan was repaid in April 2005.  Phillips obstructed the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s April 2005 examination of the bank by concealing her involvement with the housekeeper’s loan.

“Criminals working in the financial sector who believe that they can break the law and avoid prosecution need to know that the federal government will prosecute these cases in order to protect the rights of the bank’s shareholders and customers,” Vance said.

“The OCC is committed to working with law enforcement to prosecute cases where bank officers obstruct our efforts to ensure the safe and sound operation of the national banking system,” said Dan Stipano, Deputy Chief Counsel for the OCC. “The OCC commends the U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI for their work on this case,” Stipano said.

“Corrupt bank officials undermine the integrity of our banking system and must be held accountable,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Maley.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lloyd C. Peeples and Melissa K. Atwood prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

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