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Ex-bank official awaits punishment on fraud, money laundering counts

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Taxes,Michal Conger,Finance and Banking,Arkansas,Inspectors General,Waste and Fraud

One ex-bank official has to wait a few weeks before he finds out his punishment for 30 counts of bank fraud and 30 counts of money laundering.

Matthew Daniel Sweet, of Timbo, Ark., was the former vice president and controller at Troubled Asset Relief Program funds recipient One Bank & Trust until Feb. 2012.

Between Jan. 2009 and Oct. 2011, Sweet took out cashier's checks from the bank's clearing account for himself. He would then send the checks to two credit card companies to pay off his personal bills.

He is alleged to have stolen nearly $75,000 from his bank — whose parent company, OneFinancial Corp. received $17.3 million in taxpayer money through the TARP program. To date, these funds remain outstanding.

When confronted by management, he resigned and paid back the amount stolen with two cashier's checks from another bank.

“TARP was designed to provide support to our nation's banks and financial system during a time of crisis, not to provide a personal bailout for bank insiders to support their spending habits," said Christy Romero, special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Sweet's trial is scheduled for Dec. 9 when he faces a maximum sentence of 30 years imprisonment for bank fraud and no more than 20 years for money laundering.

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