Brooksville Bank Executive Charged With Bank Fraud
Tampa, FL – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the filing of an information and plea agreement charging David Donato (58, Brooksville) with bank fraud. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison. The information also notifies Donato that the United States intends to seek a money judgment in the amount of $143,878.80, which is traceable to the proceeds of the fraud.
According to court documents, Donato worked as a Senior Vice President and Commercial Lender for the CenterState Bank located at 12435 Cortez Boulevard in Brooksville. Donato was also the treasurer of the Hernando Youth League (HYL), a non-profit youth sports organization located in Hernando County. As treasurer, Donato maintained the organization’s bank accounts at his branch of CenterState Bank and had sole signature authority.
During a routine audit of its accounts in 2015, officials at CenterState Bank discovered suspicious activity in the accounts maintained by HYL. Further investigation revealed that, between at least 2011 and 2015, Donato had obtained five different lines of credit and loans from the bank in the name of HYL without permission or knowledge from HYL or its Board of Directors. He used the loan proceeds on personal expenses.
In total, Donato obtained $143,878.80 on behalf of HYL based on false statements and forged bank documents. Investigators have determined that Donato used approximately $98,420 for personal expenses, including paying his mortgage, credit cards, and cellphone and cable bills. He wrote checks to himself totaling $39,350 and also wrote checks in exchange for cash totaling $3,400. Each of these checks was written from the HYL accounts without the organization’s knowledge or consent.
An information is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by Hernando County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Secret Service. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mandy Riedel.
Donato pleaded guilty on Tuesday, September 30, 2015, at 2:00 PM in Tampa before Magistrate Judge Elizabeth A. Jenkins (Courtroom 11A).
A sentencing date has not yet been set.