Former bank president admits arson in attempt to cover up phony loans, which led to first bank failure of 2019

Arson and conspiracy to commit bank fraud was admitted by the former president of a failed Texas bank in pleas entered into federal court late last week.

Anita Gail Moody, 57, of Cooper, Texas, pleaded guilty to the charges, according to the U.S. Attorney for the eastern district of Texas. She is the former president of Enloe State Bank, also of Cooper, which the Texas Department of Banking, with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) announced as the receiver, closed in May 2019.

Moody has agreed to a sentence of 84 months. She has also agreed to pay restitution of $11.1 million, the U.S. Attorney said.

Enloe State Bank was the first bank failure of 2019. The cost, the FDIC said at the time, was $27.6 million. That amounted to 75% of the bank’s $37 million in total assets. The FDIC subsequently said the cause of the Texas bank failure was insider abuse and fraud by former officers of the institution.

According to the U.S. Attorney, in a release late last week, the bank on May 11, 2019, suffered a fire that was determined to be arson. The federal law enforcement agency said the fire was contained to the bank’s boardroom.

“Several files had been stacked on the boardroom table, all of which were burned in the fire,” the U.S. Attorney’s release stated. “Coincidentally, the bank was scheduled for a review by the Texas Department of Banking the next day.”

According to the release, further investigation into the fire and the bank showed Moody had been creating false nominee loans in the names of several people, including some actual bank customers. The bank president, the law enforcement agency said, eventually admitted to setting the fire in the boardroom to cover up the criminal activity concerning the false loans.

Moody also admitted to using the fraudulently obtained money to fund her boyfriend’s business, other businesses of friends, and her own lifestyle, the agency said. Moody’s actions, which began in 2012, resulted in a loss to the bank of approximately $11 million, the U.S. Attorney said.

Delta County Bank President Guilty of Bank Fraud and Arson Violations