MUSKOGEE — A federal grand jury handed down bank fraud charges on Tuesday against two Davis men, including the former owner of Arbuckle Wilderness Park.
The charges stem from allegedly fraudulent loans federal prosecutors claim the men received that ultimately contributed to the 2011 failure of First National Bank of Davis.
Former First National Bank of Davis president, W.A. “Dub” Moore Jr., also pleaded guilty on Monday to one count of bank fraud in the scheme.
The grand jury returned charges of bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud against Victor Earl Garrett, 57, who once owned Arbuckle Wilderness Park, and Davis businessman Roy Lynn Wesberry, 54.
According to the charges, Moore knowingly approved fraudulent loans from First National Bank of Davis to Wesberry and Garrett. The loans were taken out in other people’s names, but deposited in Wesberry’s and Garrett’s accounts.
Prosecutors claim Garrett conspired to defraud the First National Bank of Davis by taking out a $481,000 business loan from the bank in another person’s name, identified in court documents only as “J.R.”
Garrett later applied for an additional $3.4 million loan from the bank backed with a guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Garrett failed to disclose the previous loan, which pushed the bank over its legal lending limit, according to the charges.
Garrett sold the 200-acre, drive-through exotic animal park in September 2009, according to court documents.
Wesberry is accused of convincing a third party, identified in court documents as “J.S.”, to apply for a $900,000 loan, the proceeds from which were deposited in Wesberry’s overdrawn business bank account. Moore prepared the loan to conceal from the bank’s regulators that Wesberry’s business account was overdrawn by more than $1.6 million, according to the charges.
Attempts to reach Garrett and Wesberry were unsuccessful.
An attorney for Moore did not respond to a request for comment.
The bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud charges carry a maximum 30-year prison sentence and up to a $1 million fine.
Regulators shut down the First National Bank of Davis in March 2011, a week after Moore was removed as president of the bank. The bank had an estimated $465,000 cash shortfall when it failed.
The charges were the result of a joint investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Office of Inspector General and the FBI.