Former Banker in Great Bend Indicted on Embezzlement Charges
WICHITA, KAN. - A former banker from Great Bend appeared in federal court in Wichita Monday on charges including embezzlement, money laundering and making false entries in bank records, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.
Brian W. Harrison, 55, Great Bend, Kan., is charged with three counts of making false entries in bank records, 16 counts of falsifying loan and credit applications, two counts of embezzlement, and two counts of money laundering.
The indictment, which was unsealed today, alleges the crimes occurred while Harrison was a vice president and loan officer at Farmers Bank & Trust in Great Bend. The indictment alleges Harrison made false statements to Farmers Bank to hide the poor performance of loans he made, approved and maintained. The false statements served to deflect questions from Farmers Bank about the performance of Harrison’s portfolio. The indictment alleges Harrison:
- Falsified credit and loan applications without authority of the borrower.
- Obtained loans based on false statements.
- Refinanced or consolidated loans to hide problems with loan repayments.
- Authorized loans in the name of a borrower without the borrower’s authority.
- Instructed a borrower to dispose of loan collateral in a way that damaged Farmers Bank.
According to the United States Treasury Department’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, on June 19, 2009, Farmers Enterprises, Inc., the holding company for Farmers Bank, received $12 million in TARP funding under the Capital Purchase Program. On Nov. 13, 2013, Farmers Enterprises, Inc., paid $11,439,252 to redeem the original funding of $12 million, resulting in a shortfall to the program of $560,748.
“Harrison’s purported scheme resulted in losses for Farmers Bank, and ultimately, federal taxpayers suffered a $560,000 loss on their TARP investment in the bank,” said Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for TARP (SIGTARP).
Upon conviction, the crimes carry the following penalties:
- Making false bank entries: A maximum penalty of 30 years on each count and a fine up to $1 million.
- Making false statements on loan and credit applications: A maximum penalty of 30 years on each count and a fine up to $1 million.
- Embezzlement: A maximum penalty of 30 years on each count and a fine up to $1 million.
- Money laundering: A maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $500,000 on each count.
The FBI and the Special Inspector General for TARP (SIGTARP) investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Smith is prosecuting.