The Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) announced the latest victory in its ongoing effort to protect taxpayers by combating fraud, waste, and abuse connected with the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Michael Edward Filmore of Chesterfield, Missouri was sentenced to four years in federal prison and ordered to pay $6.5 million in restitution for defrauding Pulaski Bank.
Filmore will remain on supervised release for three years after the completion of his time in prison. The prosecution was brought in coordination with President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, whose sole purpose is to wage an aggressive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes.
Court records indicated that Filmore represented to Pulaski that he owned Healthcare Partners Group, LLC, a Medical Equipment sales firm in need of financing for the acquisition of equipment which would then be sold or leased to consumers. In order to obtain financing, Filmore fabricated and altered his brokerage account statements to show that he had millions of dollars in securities which he would pledge as collateral for outstanding loans.
The securities and other medical equipment, however, did not exist. Filmore was able to obtain 15 separate loans from Pulaski totaling more than $6 million. In November 2013, bank employees began to become suspicious of Filmore’s activities and reported him to authorities after an internal investigation revealed that he had supplied false information to the bank.
Fllmore pled guilty to one count of felony bank fraud in December 2013. To date, there is still an outstanding balance on the loans of more than $5 million.
“Filmore’s 10-year fraud scheme cost Pulaski Bank more than $5 million, the bank was unable to repay TARP in full, and taxpayers took a $3.6 million loss on Treasury’s discounted sale of its TARP stock in the bank,” said Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for TARP.
Romero continued, “Before and during the time that Pulaski Bank was in TARP, Filmore obtained more than $6 million in Pulaski Bank loans by fabricating documents, using shell companies, and outright lying about collateral. SIGTARP and our law enforcement partners will bring justice to those who commit crimes that jeopardize TARP investments.”