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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          June 14, 2012                   

FORMER FIRST CITIZENS BANK OFFICIAL SENTENCED TO FEDERAL PRISON FOR BANK FRAUD

Defendant stole nearly $100,000 in fraudulent loan scheme

BECKLEY, W.Va. – U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced today that a former First Citizens Bank (First Citizens) official was sentenced to one year and three months in federal prison for bank fraud.  John R. Garris, 46, of Beckley, West Virginia, previously pleaded guilty in February.  Garris worked as a financial services manager at the bank’s Lewisburg (W.Va.) branch from January 2007 to February 2011.
Garris defrauded First Citizens by creating fictitious loans in the names of existing customers of the bank, as well as by giving himself illegitimate advances on existing loans held by several customers.  He kept the loan proceeds for himself by issuing cashier's checks that he later cashed for his own benefit.

Garris admitted that during his fraudulent scheme, he embezzled between around $90,000 and $99,175 from the bank. 

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Secret Service.  United States District Judge Irene C. Berger presided over the sentencing. 

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