Matthew Sweet, Former One Bank Controller, Sentenced to Probation

Matthew D. Sweet, the former comptroller of One Bank & Trust of Little Rock, was sentenced to a year of probation and fined $1,000 Tuesday for embezzling $110,000 to pay his personal credit cards.

Sweet, who was indicted on 31 counts in November 2013, had pleaded guilty to a single count of money laundering in January, and federal prosecutors had agreed to seek no prison time.

Sweet, 42, had repaid the money shortly after his theft was discovered in 2012, but federal prosecutors said most of the money went directly to One Bank's former CEO and owner, Layton "Scooter" Stuart. Stuart died in 2013.

Four other One Bank executives — Gary Rickenbach, Michael Heald, Tom Whitehead and Brad Paul — are under indictment for unrelated crimes, and a One Bank customer, Albert Solaroli of Florida, pleaded guilty earlier this month to a reduced charge of money laundering.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that Sweet had agreed to testify against his former coworkers, who are scheduled for trial in December.

In a letter to U.S. District Judge J. Leon Holmes, Sweet's stepfather, Clark W. Terrell, referred to the environment at One Bank during Sweet's employment: "He gradually became caught up in a culture in which it appears disregard for the law permeated the organization at all echelons above him."

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