One Bank Juggled Bad Penny Stock Loan

by George Waldon  on Monday, Sep. 9, 2013 12:00 am  

Former One Bank & Trust CEO and President Layton "Scooter" Stuart (left), who died March 26; Gary Rickenbach (center), former executive vice president and chief loan officer; and Alberto Solaroli (right) of Jacksonville, Fla.

In its 44-page forfeiture action against Stuart, the U.S. government alleged that fraudulently obtained bank funds in excess of $1 million were used to buy the west Little Rock property and build a house.

Did Scooter Stuart know that money he received from One Bank to cover construction costs on the Pleasant Valley residence stemmed from bills for phantom work on bank branches, as alleged by federal investigators?

Stuart offered his take on the financial labyrinth around the project as part of the March 24 email.

Stuart came short of admitting that he was responsible for the fraudulent paperwork used to obtain a $360,000 loan from One Bank in his son’s name with which to buy the $450,000 property.

He flatly denied knowing that the $96,897 used to make the down payment and closing costs came from the bank’s operating account. Stuart said he thought the money came from one of his accounts at the bank.

“I just asked [Tom] Whitehead [chief financial officer at One Bank] for two cashiers checks, no instruction as to which bank account to charge them to,” Stuart wrote.

According to the government’s forfeiture complaint, the money was improperly accounted for as advance payments to vendors.

Stuart wrote that he was solely responsible for the Pleasant Valley deal and oversaw all aspects of the construction work, including payments to subcontractors.

“Hunter had no knowledge, involvement, planning, contact with any subs, etc.,” Stuart wrote. “He just did what he had naturally done for [the] last 27 years, rely on his dad to provide and to do the right thing.

“Yes, he is [the] legal owner, but all contracting, planning, work with subs, payments to subs came from me, Layton Stuart.”

 

 

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