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U.S. Bank Executive Pleads Guilty to Bribery

A former ""U.S. Bank"":http://www.usbank.com executive plead guilty Friday to receiving bribes from Oxford Collection Agency over the course of several years in exchange for business, according to an announcement from the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) Monday.

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Wilbur Tate III, 49, from Dacula, Georgia, served as the assistant VP at U.S. Bank from January 2004 through February 2011. He allegedly accepted bribed from Oxford Collection Agency starting in 2008.

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""Tate took bribes which began with expensive cigars and escalated to cash payments of as much as $5,000 per month disguised in cigar boxes,"" said Christy Romero, special inspector general for TARP.

Oxford Collection allegedly sent cigar boxes filled with cash to Tate's home in Mason, Ohio.

""While the country struggled through the financial crisis, rather than collect the debt of TARP banks, executives at Oxford ripped off TARP banks in a $12 million debt fraud scheme, and Tate shared in their spoils,"" Romero said.

Tate was arrested in February, plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank bribery Friday, and awaits sentencing in February 2014, according to the announcement from SIGTARP.

""With today's guilty plea, Tate, an officer at TARP recipient U.S. Bank, admitted to taking $24,000 in kickbacks from debt collectors at Oxford Collection Agency in exchange for U.S. Bank's collections business,"" Romero said.

Conspiracy to commit bank bribery could earn Tate up to five years in prison.

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