After aggressive and risky loan-fueled growth, management of TARP recipient United Commercial Bank (UCB) fraudulently inflated the bank's
financial performance by hundreds of millions of dollars.
The bank later failed - one of the largest failures since the Great Depression - and $300 million in TARP funds were lost.
Instead of relying on traditional notions of bank fraud, SIGTARP compared UCB's bank information to red flags we developed.
Electronics stored in a warehouse that served as collateral for a major loan turned out to be fake-staged like a Hollywood movie set.
But UCB did not write the loan down.
Then U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said UCB was "one of the largest criminal prosecutions brought by the U.S. Department of Justice of wrongdoing by bank officers arising out of the 2008 financial crisis."
UCB's former chief credit officer was sentenced to eight years in prison.
This case and others have brought accountability to senior executives at TARP banks who commit crimes.