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Former Ga. Bank CEO Sentenced, Fined for Tarp Fraud

The former chief executive of a Georgia community bank that participated in the Troubled Asset Relief Program was sentenced to prison and fined $3.9 million for hiding the bank's past-due loans and committing other fraud.

Gary Patton Hall Jr., 49, will sentenced to seven years and ordered to pay $3.9 million in restitution to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Hall, who was chief executive of Tifton Banking Co. in Tifton, Ga., between 2005 and 2010, admitted to hiding past-due loans from the FDIC and the bank's loan committee, in order to renew delinquent loans or approve loans lacking collateral. The loans later defaulted, resulting in millions of dollars in losses.

Hall also admitted to lying to the SBA and the Department of Agriculture to secure loan guarantees on two transactions; those loans also defaulted, which produced $2 million in losses.

Additionally, Hall admitted to hiding his personal interest in transactions in which he exercised bank authority, including a loan for a property he owned in Florida.

Tifton Banking was closed by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance in November 2010, and the FDIC sold its assets to the $5.6 billion-asset Ameris Bancorp in Moultrie, Ga.

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