A family-controlled St. Louis company dropped the chairman's son as CEO of a bank it owns after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided his office and his home.
Neither the FBI nor $577 million-asset Midwest BankCentre would say what prompted the early-February raids, but the matter seems not to be bank-related.
The bumped chief executive officer, Erwin Peter Stupp 3d, has hired a high-profile criminal defense lawyer. FBI agents searched Mr. Stupp's office Feb. 4, seizing his computer and nonbusiness records, the bank said. But the bank is not under investigation, said Frank J. Ziegler Jr., its president and chief operating officer.
"They have not asked for any bank records," Mr. Ziegler said. "They said this is a personal matter, and that they only wanted personal files. That's what they were given."
An FBI spokesman said agents do not think the matter is related to bank business.
Mr. Stupp's phone number is not listed, and his lawyer refused to provide it.
At its annual meeting a week after the raids, the parent Stupp Bros. Inc. let Mr. Stupp's appointment as CEO expire. No successor was appointed; Mr. Ziegler assumed Mr. Stupp's duties.
Art Margulis, Mr. Stupp's lawyer, called his client's departure "a leave of absence."
"There is absolutely no evidence of any wrongdoing on Mr. Stupp's part," Mr. Margulis said. "I'm confident that there's no justification for any criminal charges, and none will be brought."
The lawyer's clients have included Guns N' Roses lead singer Axl Rose, who hired him after a riot at a St. Louis concert in 1991.
As of Monday no charges had been filed against Mr. Stupp, said a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in St. Louis. The office is involved in the investigation, she said.
Midwest BankCentre, founded in 1906, changed its name from Lemay Bank and Trust Co. in January. The parent company also owns businesses including Stupp Bridge Co.; Hammert's Iron Works Inc.; Stupp Corp., which fabricates steel pipe for oil and gas lines; and Bayou Coating LLC, another pipe-related business.