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Madison banker pleads guilty to fraud

By Staff
A local banker pled guilty last week to charges elated to fraud.
Bryant Hovis, 36, of Madison, pled guilty to two counts of a federal indictment on charges of conspiracy to defraud North Alabama Bank and filing a false tax return.
During 1998 and 1999, Hovis was vice president and loan officer at North Alabama Bank in Madison. In Nov. 1998, Jan. 1999 and May 1999, Hovis agreed with a customer to process three loans for the customer at his bank using a false financial statement. The defendant knew the financial statement was false in a material manner when he presented it to the loan committee, that the net worth of the customer was materially overstated.
Based on false financial statement, the bank loan committee approved the loans, which exposed the bank to lose up to $1.5 million. During the period, the customer made payments to Hovis of about $10,000 per month – totaling $80,000. North Alabama Bank lost approximately $839,257after the customer defaulted on the loan. Hovis also failed to report more than $40,000 of the payments he received from the customer on his 1999 federal income tax return, a return he signed under penalty of perjury and filed with the Internal Revenue Service.
According to Alice Martin, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, this is the fourth conviction in this investigation and more charges are anticipated.
Hovis could receive a maximum of eight years in prison and a fine up to $500,000. Sentencing will be scheduled before U.S. District Judge Edwin Nelson.

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