Two former senior Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp executives were sentenced on Friday to several years in prison for their roles in a nearly $3 billion fraud that took down the big lender and a major bank.
The fraud ran more than seven years until August 2009 when TBW collapsed after the the U.S. housing market imploded, taking Colonial BancGroup Inc's (CBCDQ.PK) Colonial Bank with it and putting hundreds of people at the firm out of work.
Company and bank officials were accused of trying to cover up enormous losses by moving money between accounts at Colonial Bank and selling mortgage loans that did not exist, were worthless or already had been sold.
…It is one of the few cases in which prosecutors have been able to penetrate the executive suites of a major firm in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis. Most prosecutions have involved lower-level employees or much smaller firms.
Desiree Brown, TBW's former treasurer, was sentenced by District Judge Leonie Brinkema to six years in prison after she tearfully acknowledged her wrongdoing. She pleaded to one count of conspiracy to commit bank, wire and securities fraud.
Brinkema also sentenced TBW's former president, Raymond Bowman, to 30 months in prison. He had pleaded guilty to a conspiracy fraud charge as well as for lying to investigators when they raided the mortgage firm two years ago.
[Ed.: Notice - 6 years for one count, 30 months for two counts, inversely proportional to responsibility.]
Brinkema gave lower sentences than sought by prosecutors. One prosecutor, Charles Connolly, urged the stiff penalties be imposed because "there needs to be a message sent to the Street" that the conduct was unacceptable.
The cases are: USA v. Bowman, No. 11-cr-118 and USA v. Brown, No. 11-cr-84 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Author: Jeremy Pelofsky