2 at Faith-Based Bank Are Indicted Over Bribes

New York Times:

By ROBBIE BROWN
Published: May 7, 2010

ATLANTA — When government regulators here shut down Integrity Bank at the height of the recession, in August of 2008, the bank was seen as just another failed lender that had overvalued the real estate market and collapsed.

But a federal indictment unsealed on Friday accused two former vice presidents at the bank of hastening its downfall by selling fraudulent loans to a hotel developer in exchange for bribes.

The two executives, Douglas Ballard and Joseph Todd Foster, were charged with conspiracy, insider trading and bank fraud, according to the indictment. Mr. Ballard was also charged with bribery. The developer, Guy Mitchell, who received $80 million in loans, was charged with conspiracy and bribery.

Founded on Christian principles in 2000 in an Atlanta suburb, Integrity used the motto “In God We Trust.” The bank gave customers free Bibles, and employees prayed together at meetings. Onetime investors included a Georgia state senator and the former CNN host Lou Dobbs.

Continue reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/08/business/08bank.html?ref=us

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