Sixteen arrested in $10 million Missouri bank fraud scheme

Thursday, February 18, 2010 | 12:27 p.m. CST; updated 1:39 p.m. CST, Thursday, February 18, 2010

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Two former bank vice presidents and a branch manager in Springfield's Small Business Administration office are among 16 people indicted in a $10 million bank fraud scheme.

U.S. Attorney Beth Phillips announced the indictments Wednesday, and said they arose from five separate but connected cases.

Prosecutors said the defendants were involved in at least 31 fraudulent business loans, ranging from $100,000 to $1.6 million. The loans were issued by Mid-America Bank and Trust Company in Pulaski County between January 2005 and January 2007.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that the loans were guaranteed by the SBA as part of federal loan programs for small businesses.

Phillips said part of the scheme involved making loans to people who were borrowing in name only, and using the proceeds for personal gain, or to conceal overdue balances, earlier fraudulent loans and overdrafts.

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