Well, Bank Failure Fridays have dwindled dramatically; the FDIC has closed only three banks in the last two months — and none in Georgia.
But expect more activity from the FDIC this year with additional lawsuits and possible indictments against the directors and officers of some of Georgia’s failed banks.
Two weeks ago, seven officers of the failed First National Bank of Savannah were indicted, and now regulators have filed a civil suit against 11 officers of the failed First National Bank of Georgia in Carrollton. From the AJC:
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said in a civil complaint filed Friday that the First National Bank of Georgia officials failed to follow sound banking practices in approving 14 real estate loans that led to heavy losses. The FDIC is seeking damages “in excess of” $29.9 million.
An attorney for the defendants said the claims are “without merit” and that the officials “proudly served their community for decades as officers and directors” of the bank.
The regulators allege, among other things, that the officials allowed excessive concentrations of risky development loans, did not properly vet loans and failed to heed warnings from bank examiners.
In other news, missing banker Aubrey Lee Price from Valdosta has been indicted again — and the FBI is not buying a Florida judge’s ruling that Price is dead. From AP writer Russ Bynum:
The indictment in U.S. District Court of Eastern New York charges Price with securities and wire fraud, alleging he faked account statements to cover up big losses from investments he made in equity securities, options and real estate. It’s the second criminal prosecution pending against Price, who had served as a director of Montgomery Bank & Trust in Ailey. He was also charged with bank fraud last year in U.S. District Court in Atlanta.
Prosecutors say Price raised $40 million from his bank and 115 investors, and lost much of the money. Melanie Damian, the lawyer appointed to recover Price’s assets and help investors recoup some of their losses, said it’s still unknown exactly how much of their money he lost.
On Dec. 31, a circuit court judge in Florida agreed to order a presumptive death certificate for Price at the request of his wife, Rebeka.