The Federal Reserve Board fined Ghaith R. Pharon $37 million on Tuesday for his role in the Bank of Credit and Commerce International scandal.

In its decision, the Fed said Mr. Pharon broke the law when he acted as a "secret nominee" to acquire Independence Bank of Encino, Calif., in 1985 for the Bank of Credit and Commerce. Independence failed in 1992.

The Fed also barred Mr. Pharon from banking for life. Mr. Pharon, a Saudi Arabian national, has not returned to the United States to contest the Fed's charges. The Justice Department and the New York County district attorney have indicted him for bank fraud.

The Bank of Credit and Commerce has been accused of embezzling customers, lying to regulators about nonperforming loans, and making secret investments barred by banking laws. It collapsed in 1991.

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