News and Press Releases

Former Executive at Orange County Bank Sentenced to 41 Months in Federal Prison for Stealing Nearly $2 Million from One Account

July 23, 2012

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 was sentenced this afternoon to 41 months in federal prison for stealing nearly $2 million from a customer’s account.

Matthew J. Walker, 34, of Orange, was sentenced by United States District Judge Andrew J. Guilford, who ordered Walker to pay just over $1.8 million in restitution.

Walker pleaded guilty to one count of theft of bank funds in November 2011,
specifically admitted that he stole nearly $2 million over a 16-month period that ended in July 2010. Walker 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.

Walker “stole almost $2 million dollars from a client for a personal venture where he was trying ‘to hit it big,’” according to a sentencing memo filed by prosecutors. “Much like gambling, [Walker] used the money on a start-up company that he was intimately involved in and where he could win or lose. Like most risky gambles, he ultimately lost it all.”

The case against Walker was investigated by the FBI.

Release No. 12-097

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