Memphis loan officer pleads guilty in bank fraud scheme

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a Tennessee loan officer has pleaded guilty in a scheme that defrauded a bank of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Memphis says 58-year-old Robert A. Whartenby faces up to 30 years in prison at the sentencing on Dec. 12.

Prosecutors said Whartenby defrauded Trustmark Bank in Memphis by submitting false paperwork supporting loans for two companies that did not exist.

Nearly $400,000 in loan money was then sent to accounts that Whartenby created at another bank in the names of the two fake companies.

U.S. Attorney Michael Dunavant announced Whartenby’s guilty plea to bank fraud in a statement released Wednesday.

Dunavant said Whartenby’s scheme “had a significant negative impact on the shareholders, employees and customers of Trustmark Bank.”

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