DENVER - Dale Mitchell, a prominent former Oklahoma City bank executive convicted of five banking crimes, financially is not able to pay $3 million in restitution as a judge in Oklahoma City ordered, Mitchell's lawyer told the federal appeals court here Friday.
Mitchell's liabilities exceed his assets by $4 million, his lawyer, Andy Coats, told the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals while arguing Mitchell's convictions and the restitution order should be overturned.
In addition to Mitchell's negative net worth, the federal government has a $795,000 lien on Mitchell's property for unpaid income taxes, Coats said in arguing why Mitchell is unable to pay restitution.
Mitchell was chief executive officer of Citizens National Bank of Oklahoma City, which became insolvent and was closed in the 1980s by government regulators. He also was an owner of the parent company of the Bank of Commerce in Tulsa.
He was convicted of two counts of making a false statement to a bank in order to influence the bank's decision, one count of misapplication of bank funds and two counts of conspiring to demand something of value in connection with a transaction of a bank at which he was an officer.
Coats argued U. S. District Judge Lee West was wrong last April when he ordered Mitchell to make restitution. Most of the restitution was to go to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and to Management Assistance Group Inc. (MAGI), a California company.
Mitchell's conviction for demanding something of value was in connection with his forcing the MAGI to borrow $1.2 million from Citizens Bank and use the money to buy stock in the Tulsa bank company. Mitchell allegedly required the loan as a condition for MAGI to receive a $1 million loan it wanted from Citizens.
Coats also argued a jury's December convictions of Mitchell should be overturned because prosecutors' evidence was not sufficient.
Assistant U. S. Attorney William Lee Borden Jr., one of the prosecutors, argued the convictions and all but $470,000 of the restitution order should be upheld. The evidence was sufficient, he said.
West sentenced Mitchell to five years of probation and 208 hours of community service each of the five years. The FDIC had sent the judge a letter asking for a stiff prison sentence for Mitchell, claiming that he had "blatantly abused his power" as a banking official and was involved in 20 failed banks with a total asset base of $11 billion dollars.
"The FDIC, FSLIC or institutions which later came under receivership by these agencies filed proofs of loss in Mitchell's bankruptcy totaling in excess of $18,703,841.92," the letter stated. "The FDIC eventually lost in excess of this amount considering the associated legal fees, related litigation costs and general receivership expenses. " The three-judge appellate panel took the case under advisement.
Staff writer Ed Godfrey contributed to this report BIOG: NAME:Archive ID: 557119