Appalachian Community Bank Vice President Convicted of Bank Fraud
GAINESVILLE, GA—William R. Beamon, Jr., a/k/a “Rusty” Beamon, has been convicted by a federal jury of carrying out a scheme to defraud Appalachian Community Bank, in Ellijay, Ga.
“Bank fraud is a critical problem throughout the United States, but it has hit Georgia especially hard,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “Georgia leads the nation in bank failures since 2008, with 88 banks failing—including Appalachian Community Bank, the bank this defendant defrauded. These failures have significantly affected the economy, making these cases important to safeguard the nation’s financial health.”
“The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Office of Inspector General is pleased to join our law enforcement colleagues in announcing the conviction of Mr. Beamon for his role in a fraudulent scheme that caused harm to Appalachian Community Bank,” said Fred W. Gibson, Principal Deputy Inspector General, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. “One of our top priorities is to investigate and prosecute cases where trusted insiders abuse their positions to undermine the integrity of the financial services industry. We are committed to preventing and addressing such threats to the safety and soundness of FDIC-insured banks throughout the country.”
J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “Bank fraud comes in many forms but when it comes in the form of the bank’s own vice president, it becomes all the more intolerable. Mr. Beamon, as a banking executive, should have protected his bank and its assets from fraud but instead he saw an opportunity to enrich his own bank account. The federal sentencing handed down to Mr. Beamon will be not only the closing note to one man’s banking career but also to the bank that he caused to fail.”
“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,” said Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for TARP (SIGTARP). “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.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: Beamon was Vice President of Appalachian Community Bank in Ellijay, Ga. Due to its poor financial condition, Appalachian was forced to close on March 19, 2010, and the FDIC was appointed receiver.
Beamon was in charge of the Appalachian’s foreclosure liquidation department. In 2009, he represented to a real estate agent that he personally owned a house in Cumming, Ga. Beamon hired that agent to market and lease the property on his behalf. In truth, however, the property was owned by Appalachian 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 Appalachian 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.
William R. Beamon, Jr., a/k/a “Rusty” Beamon, 54, of Atlanta, Ga., was convicted on five counts of bank fraud. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled.
This case is being investigated by the FDIC Office of Inspector General; the Department of Treasury, Special Inspector General Troubled Asset Relief Program; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant United States Attorneys J. Russell Phillips and Douglas W. Gilfillan are prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Gainesville Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/.