07 August 2019

General counsel indefinitely suspended

Bank general counsel caught up in “biggest” US bank collapse in 2017 to be indefinitely suspended after pleading guilty in bank fraud.

Gregory Joseph St Angelo, a former general counsel at failed First NBC Bank, who pleaded guilty earlier this month to a bank fraud charge, has been indefinitely suspended following a Louisiana Supreme Court order.

Sentencing October

In its single-page order filed July 22, the Supreme Court suspended  Mr St Angelo's law license until further court order following an office of disciplinary counsel petition for interim suspension. The court also ordered "that necessary proceedings be instituted." Mr St Angelo had pleaded guilty to a federal charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud after reaching a plea agreement with the US Attorney’s Office. The US Attorney's Office filed a 22-page factual basis in connection with the plea agreement in which Mr St Angelo stipulated to conspiring with other former bank executives to falsify documents and receive loans from that bank and then make it look like those loans were repaid when they were not. He  is scheduled to be sentenced in October.

“Biggest” collapse

At the time of the First NBC collapse in 2017, it was reported as the biggest US bank collapse since the 2008 financial crisi. The the bank entered under FDIC receivership, which directed all First NBC transactional deposits to Whitney Bank, based in Gulfport, Mississippi. The US Department of Justice filed a criminal bill of information against Mr St Angelo in March as part of its case against the former general counsel for alleged conspiracy to commit bank fraud. “By the time First NBC Bank failed in late April 2017, the balances on loans issued to St Angelo and certain entities totaled approximately $46.7 million, and First NBC Bank had also paid St. Angelo approximately $9.6 million for purported tax credit investments,’ the criminal bill of information stated.

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