BANK PRESIDENT'S WIFE PLEADS GUILTY
TO CONSPIRACY IN SCHEME TO HIDE ASSETS
TOPEKA, KAN. – A Jefferson County, Kan., woman has pleaded guilty to conspiring with her husband in a scheme to make it appear he was indigent in order to keep the government from taking his assets in a bank fraud case.
Brenda Schmitt Becker, 47, Meriden, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and agreed to forfeit her interest in property the couple owned in Jefferson County. In return, the government agreed to drop its claims on a 42-foot catamaran the couple purchased in hopes of leaving the United States.
Becker's husband, Scott D. Becker, is serving a six-year federal sentence after being convicted of conspiracy. The crimes occurred while he was president and CEO of Countryside Bank, formerly Meriden State Bank.
In her plea, Brenda Schmitt Becker admitted that when Scott Becker learned the FBI was investigating him he devised a scheme to make it appear he was indigent. She helped him to systematically liquidate, transfer and conceal his assets in order to keep the government from taking them in the collection of fines, forfeitures and restitution in the criminal case.
Sentencing is set for Aug. 29. The parties have agreed to a sentence of 12 months and one day.
Grissom commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Hathaway and Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Kenney for their work on the case.