News and Press Releases

Former Exec at O.C. Bank Pleads Guilty to Stealing Nearly $2 Million

November 28, 2011

SANTA ANA, California – An Orange County man who served as a vice president of Farmers and Merchants Bank and was the manager of the institution’s Laguna Hills branch pleaded guilty today to stealing nearly $2 million from a customer’s account.

Matthew J. Walker, 34, of Orange, pleaded guilty this afternoon to one count of theft of bank funds. During this afternoon’s hearing before United States District Judge Andrew J. Guilford, Walker specifically admitted that he stole $1,973,000 over a 16-month period that ended in July 2010.

By pleading guilty, Walker acknowledged that he withdrew money from a line of credit in the name of a trust that held an account at Farmers and Merchants. To cover up the scheme, Walker made interest payments on the money supposedly loaned to the trust.

When he is sentenced on May 21, 2012, Walker will face a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison. A plea agreement in the case contemplates a sentence of approximately four years, but Judge Guilford will determine the appropriate sentence in this case.

The case against Walker was investigated by the FBI.

Release No. 11-165

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