Ex-Trustmark Bank officer admits he falsifies paperwork for bogus companies to steal $400,000 from bank

Published 9:38 pm Saturday, September 7, 2019

A former loan officer at Trustmark Bank pleaded guilty to a one-count information, which charged him in connection with a fraudulent loan scheme. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant announced the guilty plea today.

According to the information, Robert A. Whartenby, 58, of Memphis, was a loan officer at Trustmark’s main Memphis office. Whartenby appeared before United States District Judge Sheryl H. Lipman and admitted that between May 2017, and June 2018, he defrauded Trustmark of almost $400,000 through a scheme in which he submitted false paperwork in support of loans to Memphis Designs Group, LLC and Windridge Investments, fictitious companies he had created. The loan proceeds were then disbursed to accounts at Bank of America which Whartenby had opened in the names of the fictitious entities.

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, “The financial fraud committed by this defendant is disturbing. The abuse of his position of trust and authority as a bank loan officer for his own personal gain had a significant negative impact on the shareholders, employees and customers of Trustmark Bank. The U.S. Attorney’s Office places a high priority on protecting the security and integrity of transactions, deposits and assets of financial institutions, and this case demonstrates that commitment.”

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A sentencing hearing is set for 2:00 p.m. December 12, 2019, before U.S. District Court Judge Sheryl H. Lipman.

Trustmark Bank is headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, and has locations in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas.

Whartenby faces a maximum penalty of 30 years imprisonment, a fine of $1,000,000 and five years supervised release.