The Federal Reserve Board has fined a Memphis bank consultant for purchasing a stake in a Colorado community bank without first seeking regulatory approval.

Robert L. Sellers, chairman of Bank Consultants of America, was ordered to pay a civil penalty of $100,000. According to a Fed order issued Jan. 8 and released last week, Mr. Sellers is also prohibited "from participating in the conduct of the affairs of any financial institutions."

Mr. Sellers consented to the order without admitting any wrongdoing.

The Fed action stems from Mr. Sellers' 1994 relationship with the former First National Summit Bankshares of Gunnison, Colo. Mr. Sellers allegedly bought control of more than 25% of First National's voting shares without first receiving Fed approval, according to the order. Any purchase of 10% or more of the voting stock in a financial institution must be reported to the Fed.

The punishment does not ban Mr. Sellers from continuing as a bank consultant. Though the order prohibits him from soliciting or holding any voting rights in an institution or voting for directors, it "shall not limit (Mr.) Sellers in any way from continuing to engage in consulting services," the Fed said.

Mr. Sellers did not return a call to his Memphis office seeking comment. First National was sold to Community First Bancshares of Fargo, N.D., for $14 million in December 1997.

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