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Former Bank Exec Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Investors, Regulators

fraud [1]A former bank executive pleaded guilty earlier this week to charges of defrauding regulators and his bank's investors, Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP [2]) and other investigators announced recently.

Don A. Langford, 63, a former senior vice president and chief credit officer for Lincoln, Nebraska-based TierOne Bank (a former TARP [3] fund applicant) pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit securities fraud, wire fraud, and making false entries in a bank’s books and records, in addition to one count of making false statements according to Romero, Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Deborah R. Gilg of the District of Nebraska, and Special Agent in Charge Thomas R. Metz of the FBI’s Omaha Division. Langford is scheduled to be sentenced on December 5, 2014.

Langford, who now resides in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, entered his guilty plea with U.S. Magistrate Judge Cheryl R. Zwart of the District of Nebraska. The criminal investigation revealed that Langford and his associates were able to cover up millions of dollars in losses by falsifying the value of TierOne's loan and real estate portfolio in reports U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC [4]) and the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS [5]) from at least 2009 to April 2010.

TierOne submitted an application to OTS in 2008 to receive monetary assistance from the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), but eventually withdrew the application without receiving any funds from TARP. OTS shut down TierOne in June 2010 and the bank filed for bankruptcy shortly afterward.

"Langford, former TierOne senior executive and chief credit officer, conspired with others to hide losses at the bank by cooking the bank’s books and reporting falsified information to stakeholders, regulators, external auditors, and the investing public," Romero said. "Langford and others engaged in fraud in order to keep regulators at bay and from closing the bank, to maintain and increase the bank’s stock price, and to enrich themselves. The bank even made an unsuccessful attempt to get taxpayer TARP funds in November 2008. SIGTARP and our law enforcement officers will bring to justice perpetrators of fraud related to TARP and hold them accountable for their crimes."