Banking executive charged with TARP fraud

18 March 2010

A former banking executive has been charged with the embezzlement of more than $11 million from the US government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

Charles Antonucci, previously employed as president and chief executive officer at the Park Avenue Bank of New York, provided the Treasury with false information to extricate the funds from the initiative.

He faces a number of charges including bribery, fraud and self-dealing, the attorney’s office announced.

The accused is alleged to have lied about the institution’s level of capital when applying for bailout funds in November 2008.

Mr Antonucci informed financial regulators that he had invested $6.5 million of his own money to increase capital at Park Avenue Bank when in fact the funds came from an investment made by the bank.

Preet Bharara, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, said: “Antonucci is the first defendant ever charged with attempting to defraud TARP.”

He faces ten charges including one of defrauding two pastors out of over $100,000 as part of a fake investment scheme surrounding the construction of a church.

By Jim Ottewill

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