The founders and former executives of the defunct CertusBank were fined a total of $55,000 for the lavish spending that led to the Greenville, S.C., bank’s downfall.

Angela Webb, former chief administrative officer, agreed to pay $27,000 in civil penalties to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Walter Davis, ex-chief credit officer, will pay $25,000; and Milton Jones, who had been chairman and CEO, agreed to pay $3,500.

Another bank founder, Charles Williams, was not fined.

The four executives entered into cease-and-desist orders with the OCC, requiring them to submit to certain restrictions on future employment with any insured depository institution. None of the agreements included an admission of wrongdoing.

The OCC found that Webb, Davis and Jones, to varying degrees, improperly directed CertusBank to buy condominiums for executive officers’ use; made $230,000 of improper payments to an outside vendor; entered into construction contracts for bank properties without informing the bank’s board; and authorized excessive payments for furnishing and decorating offices and condos.

Certus founders Walter Davis (left) and Angela Webb in happier times, with Knox White, the mayor of Greenville, S.C.
Certus founders Walter Davis (left) and Angela Webb in happier times, with Knox White, the mayor of Greenville, S.C. Upstate Business Journal

Due to the lavish spending, poor financial performance and clashes between management and investors, CertusBank lost money and was forced to sell off its assets.

CertusBank was formed in 2011 to buy failed banks through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., but it lost a total of $170 million from 2012 to 2014. The FDIC did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this article.

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Andy Peters

Andy Peters

Andy Peters writes about regional banks, consumer finance and debt collections for American Banker.