Jury Finds Ex-Banker Guilty on 5 Counts

Ed Godfrey Published: December 15, 1992
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Mitchell's attorneys had alleged the loan had been forced on Management Assistance Group Inc. by convicted bank swindler Charles Bazarian, who also owned stock in the Tulsa bank. The Tulsa Bank of Commerce eventually failed.

Mitchell also was found guilty of failing to disclose to Citizens' loan officers his financial interest in Tolex Energies, which had applied to borrow $1.3 million from the bank.

Federal prosecutors said at the same time Citizens' was considering the loan and prior to its funding, Mitchell negotiated to buy 20 percent of Tolex, to sell Tolex oil and gas properties that he owned, and to become a member of the company's board of directors.

Mitchell had testified that he did not disclose his financial interest in Tolex at the time in order not to influence the decision of the loan committee. Mitchell said he made a full disclosure two weeks after the loan was funded.

The jury also found Mitchell guilty on two false statement counts that he obtained two personal loans totaling more than $1 million. Prosecutors said Mitchell lied about what was available to the banks as collateral.

Mitchell was acquitted of misapplying $26,000 used in the purchase of the Norman home owned by him and his wife, former Oklahoma legislator Cleta Deatherage Mitchell. He also was acquitted of receiving a $140,000 loan from a Littleton, Colo., bank in exchange for his influence in renewing Citizens and the Tulsa Bank of Commerce's participation in a loan to that bank.

In 1988, Mitchell agreed to a permanent removal from banking for the same transactions for which he was indicted. Coats said Mitchell did nothing improper and the only purpose of the agreement reached with federal banking regulators was to "buy peace" with the government.

"Obviously, it wasn't buying peace," Coats said Monday.

Mitchell never would have agreed to the ban had he known the FBI was going to pursue a criminal case, Coats said.

The jury heard no evidence about Mitchell's ban from banking. BIOG: NAME:

Archive ID: 524730


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