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FORMER MISSISSIPPI BANK CEO
PLEADS GUILTY TO DECEIVING FDIC, BANK EXAMINERS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PR-110-2002 (10-17-2002)
Media Contact:
Samuel Holland (202) 416-2912

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Inspector General Gaston L. Gianni, Jr., has announced that William Hugh "Buck" Tatum, Jr., Tiplersville, MS, pled guilty on October 10 to a Criminal Information charging him with one count of money laundering and two counts of making false statements in bank records to deceive the FDIC and FDIC examiners.

This case is being investigated by the FDIC Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Mississippi.

Tatum was Chief Executive Officer of The Bank of Falkner, Falkner, MS, until September 29, 2000, when the bank was closed and the FDIC was appointed receiver.

The Criminal Information charges Tatum with assisting customers in evading lending limits by allowing them to receive a series of nominee loans in the names of family members and/or business associates. The Information further charges that Tatum protected certain customers from FDIC regulatory scrutiny by causing the misapplication of funds to clear overdrafts on their business accounts. The Information also charges Tatum with helping avoid the seizure of funds a customer had received from convicted Connecticut financier Martin Richard Frankel by creating a series of cashier's checks to hide and conceal the location, source and ownership of the funds.

As a result of his guilty plea, Tatum faces incarceration and $5.4 million in criminal fines. In addition, as part of the plea agreement, Tatum agreed to be held accountable for "all losses, including but not limited to losses incurred by the Bank of Falkner and FDIC as a result of the failure of the Bank of Falkner." The three-count Information lists sums totaling $10.176 million in potential losses.

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Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1933 to restore public confidence in the nation's banking system. The FDIC insures deposits at the nation's 9,480 banks and savings associations and it promotes the safety and soundness of these institutions by identifying, monitoring and addressing risks to which they are exposed. The FDIC receives no federal tax dollars - insured financial institutions fund its operations.

FDIC press releases and other information are available on the Internet at www.fdic.gov or through the FDIC's Public Information Center (800-276-6003 or (703) 562-2200).

Last Updated 10/17/2002 communications@fdic.gov