Monday, December 30, 2019

Former Banker Sentenced for Fraudulent Loan Scheme

Memphis, TN - A former loan officer at Trustmark Bank has been sentenced to serve 18 months in federal prison in connection with a fraudulent loan scheme. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant for the Western District of Tennessee announced the sentence today.

Robert A. Whartenby, age 58 of Memphis, pleaded guilty in September to a one-count criminal information which charged him with bank fraud. According to the information, Whartenby, a former loan officer at Trustmark’s main Memphis office, defrauded Trustmark of almost $400,000 between May 2017 and June 2018. Whartenby submitted false paperwork in support of loans to Memphis Designs Group, LLC and Windridge Investments, fictitious companies he had created. The loan proceeds were then disbursed to accounts at Bank of America, which Whartenby had opened in the names of the fictitious entities.

On December 20, 2019, U.S. District Court Judge Sheryl H. Lipman sentenced Whartenby to 18 months in federal prison. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $351,927.04 and to serve a period of two years supervision under the United States Probation Office following his release from custody.

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, "The financial fraud committed by this defendant is disturbing. The abuse of his position of trust and authority as a bank loan officer for his own personal gain had a significant negative impact on the shareholders, employees and customers of Trustmark Bank. The U.S. Attorney’s Office places a high priority on protecting the security and integrity of transactions, deposits and assets of financial institutions, and this case demonstrates that commitment."

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Carroll L. André III prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

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