Jury Finds Ex-Banker Guilty on 5 Counts

Ed Godfrey Published: December 15, 1992
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Former Oklahoma City banker Dale E. Mitchell was found guilty Monday by a federal jury on five of seven felony counts accusing him of conspiracy to defraud, misapplying bank funds and making false statements to banks.

Mitchell, 49, was found guilty of crimes occurring in 1984 and 1985 while he was chief executive officer of Citizens National Bank and Trust in Oklahoma City, which was declared insolvent in 1986.

The jury deliberated almost eight hours before reaching a decision. Mitchell was acquitted of two counts involving bribery and misapplication of funds. On Friday, U.S. District Judge Lee R. West dismissed another bribery count for lack of evidence.

Mitchell declined comment, but his attorney, Andy Coats, called the guilty verdicts disappointing.

"I just really didn't believe, based on that evidence, they would find him guilty," Coats said.

Mitchell has filed motions to have the jury's guilty verdicts set aside and West has taken those under advisement. Coats said he believes there are "good legal grounds" for the judge to grant an acquittal on all counts due to lack of evidence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee Borden said the evidence "supported the jury's decisions and I think the evidence will be sufficient to stand the post-trial motions raised by the defense. " Mitchell remains free on bond pending sentencing, which will occur in about 60 days following completion of a report by the U.S. probation office.

Two members of the jury, Heather Windle and Michael Jewell, said the banking records and documents with dates and Mitchell's signatures made it clear he was guilty.

"He's a pretty smart guy; it just finally caught up with him," Jewell said.

The jurors said federal prosecutors failed to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt on the two counts of which Mitchell was acquitted.

Mitchell was found guilty of demanding that a California corporation borrow $1.2 million and use the money to buy stock in a Tulsa bank he owned in order for the company to receive a $1 million loan it had requested from Citizens.

The Tulsa Bank of Commerce, of which Mitchell was the largest stockholder, had been required by federal regulators to improve its financial position.


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