Prosecutors charged three men with taking part in a $100 million fraud involving the former chief executive officer of Manhattan's Park Avenue Bank, who pleaded guilty in 2010 to lying to regulators and embezzling funds.
Wilbur Anthony Huff, a Kentucky businessman; Park Avenue Bank senior vice president Matthew L. Morris; and Allen Reichman, formerly an executive at another financial company, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Manhattan and accused of roles in a group of inter-related schemes, including defrauding Oklahoma regulators in the $37.5 million sale of an insurer that was later forced into receivership.
The schemes were allegedly conducted with the help of former Park Avenue Bank CEO Charles Antonucci, the first person convicted of trying to defraud the U.S. Troubled Asset Relief Program. Regulators closed Park Avenue Bank in March 2010 and its assets were assumed by Wayne, New Jersey-based Valley National Bank, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
Huff, 51, of Louisville, Kentucky, engaged in fraud and bribery through several businesses throughout the U.S., including temporary staffing firm General Employment Enterprises Inc., insurance broker U.S. Insurance Group and payroll management firm O2HR LLC, prosecutors said. Huff allegedly bribed bankers including Antonucci and Morris to help him carry out his schemes, according to the indictment.
Huff is also accused of causing O2HR to fail to pay $53 million in employment taxes. The most serious charge against Huff, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, carries a 30-year prison term, prosecutors said.
The 13-count indictment also accuses Huff and Morris, 37, of Queens, New York, of conspiracy to commit bank bribery, prosecutors in the office of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said today in a statement. Reichman, 52, of Irvington, New York, was charged for his alleged role in the insurance fraud scheme, according to the statement.
All three men were arrested today, prosecutors said.
The case is U.S. v. Huff, 12-cr-750, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).