by Gwen Moritz
Posted 6/24/2014 11:04 am
Updated 5 months ago
A surprising victim has emerged in the fraud case against Jim Bolt of Rogers: Arvest Bank.
The Fayetteville-chartered bank had to make good on a guarantee it issued when Bolt fraudulently claimed $1.9 million in assets held as unclaimed by the state of California, testimony in federal court revealed Monday.
Arvest spokesman Jason Kincy said he could not comment "on any specific transaction or legal proceeding." And he added, "Banks do have insurance that cover these types of transactions and potential losses, including Arvest Bank."
Bolt was sentenced Monday to 100 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks. Testimony was presented on several facts about the frauds to which Bolt pleaded guilty, including testimony that touched on the fact that Arvest was a victim even though the bank wasn't specifically listed as a victim in the charges.
No victims attended the sentencing hearing.
The government, led by Assistant U.S. Attorney Glen R. Hines, outlined five separate claims Bolt and his nonprofit Situs Cancer Research Center fraudulently made for a total of $2.5 million in unclaimed assets held by third-party administrators on behalf of the states of California and Nevada. According to FBI Special Agent Robert Cessario, the largest (and last) of the five claims was for $1.89 million that belonged to 401(k) accounts for former employees of a defunct California company called Pacific Financial Research Inc.
In order to claim it, Bolt was required to submit what Cessario called a "medallion stamp" from a bank, and he was somehow able to persuade an Arvest officer to issue one. When Bolt's fraud was uncovered, Arvest was required to honor its guarantee, Cessario testified.
A medallion signature guarantee indicates that a financial institute is a member of a guarantee program, Kincy said, and medallions are commonly used to guarantee customer signatures when securities are transferred between parties.
Cessario didn't give the exact date when Arvest issued the medallion guarantee, but Bolt was pursuing the Pacific Financial Research claim in December 2012 and January 2013.