Keystone, W.Va., has been subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury in Charleston this week.

Billie J. Cherry made the announcement Thursday at a City Council meeting in Keystone, the tiny, impoverished coal town where she is also mayor.

"This has been the most devastating thing I've ever been through," she said to the handful of residents and reporters there. "I'm not finished with this."

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency shut down the $1.1 billion-asset bank on Sept. 1, charging fraud. According to the OCC, $515 million of loans the bank claimed as income-producing assets had in fact been securitized and sold.

In an interview after the council meeting, Ms. Cherry maintained her innocence.

"We've built this bank from $17 million (of assets) to $1 billion," she said. "You can't do that with people that are fraudulent."

Ms. Cherry also defended the bank's employees but acknowledged that they could have committed fraud without her knowledge. "It's possible," she said.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Charleston, W.Va., declined to say whether Ms. Cherry or other officers and employees of the bank had been subpoenaed, citing Department of Justice policy.

Subpoenas are orders to testify in aid of a government investigation. Subpoena recipients, such as Ms. Cherry, are not necessarily investigation targets themselves.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was partially successful in its attempts to sell the bank's assets and deposits last week.

Of the 17 companies that attended a bidders' meeting, just one -- Ameribank Inc., located in nearby Welch, W.Va. -- issued a bid.

The $54 million-asset thrift agreed to take over $135 million of First National's local deposits at a discount of $105,000. Ameribank also purchased $74.1 million of the failed bank's assets and has a 90-day option to purchase any or all of its three buildings.

The FDIC distributed checks to hundreds of out-of-town depositors last week from First National's main office in Keystone. Insured depositors who did not come by in person will receive checks by mail.

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