The former president of New York's privately held Park Avenue Bank was arrested on allegations of fraud on Monday, including charges of making false statements in the failed bank's application for U.S. government bailout funds.
It is the first criminal case involving the Troubled Asset Relief Program, known as TARP, the U.S. attorney's office said.
A criminal complaint filed in Manhattan federal court said Charles Antonucci made material and false statements in the bank's application for $11.2 million from TARP.
It accused Antonucci of devising an elaborate round-trip loan transaction that he told others was his own $6.5 million investment in the bank, misleading state bank regulators and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
While the bank's TARP application was under review by the FDIC, Charles Antonucci encouraged and caused other individuals acting on behalf of the bank to encourage the FDIC to grant the bank's TARP application, in part on the basis of Antonucci's purported personal investment of $6.5 million in new capital, the court document said.
Antonucci and others repeatedly singled out Antonucci's $6.5 million capital investment as evidence that the bank was viable and deserving of TARP funds, it said.
Instead, the complaint said, the investment was a sham, round-trip transaction using the bank's own funds and was designed, at least in part, to deceive regulators about the bank's capital position.
Antonucci, 59, was arrested on Monday morning at his home in Fishkill, New York. An attorney for him could not immediately be located. Antonucci was expected to appear in court later on Monday.
The charges include self-dealing, bank bribery, embezzlement and fraud on the New York state banking department, U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and TARP, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.
Antonucci was president of the bank from June 2004 to October 2009 and the alleged offenses occurred between October 2008 and February 2009, according to the court document.
On Friday, state regulators closed Park Avenue Bank, which had assets of $520.1 million and deposits of $494.5 million at the end of 2009, according to the FDIC.
The regulators determined that the bank was critically undercapitalized, according to a statement released on Friday by the New York State Banking Superintendent.
The bank in November applied for a bailout of less than $12 million under the TARP program, but withdrew its application over concerns about restrictions on banks that receive taxpayer money, bank chairman Donald Glascoff said on March 10.
U.S. officials were to disclose more details at a press conference on Monday afternoon.
(Reporting by Grant McCool; editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Robert MacMillan)