First Bank Mortgage’s ex-president allegedly funneled away $35 million

Thursday, July 10, 2008 | 8:10 p.m. CDT; updated 5:23 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

ST. LOUIS — The former president of First Bank Mortgage in St. Louis is facing federal fraud charges for allegedly funneling $35 million from the bank over nearly two decades.

U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway said Thursday that Mark Turkcan began the fraud after losing millions of dollars on an investment for the bank in 1987.

Hanaway says that over the years, Turkcan falsified bank documents to hide the loss. She says he also borrowed money from Bear Stearns in New York to provide cash to his division, then told his bosses the borrowed money was actually income.

Turkcan’s attorney William Margulis said it was too early to comment on the indictment because Turkcan had just received it.

Hanaway says Bear Stearns was not aware Turkcan was using the money for a fraudulent scheme.

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