Former Bank VP Involved in Fraud Sentenced

Allison Tussey —  April 14, 2011 — Leave a comment

Kevin J. O’Keefe, 51, Simsbury, Connecticut, was sentenced by Chief United States District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford, Connecticut, to one day of imprisonment, time served, and three years of supervised release, for his role in two fraud schemes.

According to court documents and statements made in court, O’Keefe was a vice president at Fleet Bank (and Bank of America after it acquired Fleet Bank) in Hartford. From approximately October 2001 to February 2007, O’Keefe conspired with Paul Aparo, an attorney, and Richard R. Girouard, a real estate developer, to enrich themselves through the use of O’Keefe‘s position at the bank and by corrupting the bidding process on distressed loans that Fleet Bank was selling. As part of the scheme, O’Keefe, Aparo, and Girouard created shell companies through which to submit bids on distressed loans being sold by Fleet Bank and with which to receive and distribute proceeds from the scheme. O’Keefe had access to and obtained confidential information belonging to Fleet Bank and provided that information to Aparo and Girouard so that it could be used to submit winning bids on distressed loans. O’Keefe also intentionally provided outdated information to other bidders involved in the bidding process in order to cause those bidders to submit artificially low bids. O’Keefe provided Aparo and Girouard with access to the most up-to-date information. O’Keefe also excluded bidders who he, Aparo, and Girouard believed would submit competitive bids for a distressed loan on which O’Keefe, Aparo, and Girouard sought to bid.

Girouard paid O’Keefe and Aparo approximately $100,000 on one loan that Girouard obtained through the corrupt assistance of O’Keefe and Aparo. In addition, Girouard agreed to pay a shell company, called “Lexington Associates,” 15 percent of the profits on another distressed loan on which Girouard, with O’Keefe and Aparo‘s corrupt assistance, had submitted a winning bid. The 15 percent of the profits on the loan that Girouard (through his own shell company) paid to Lexington Associates amounted to more than $1.4 million, which O’Keefe and Aparo essentially split evenly.

Between December 2005 and January 2006, as part of a second scheme, O’Keefe and Aparo defrauded Bank of America and Aparo‘s client out of money. In that scheme, a client contacted Aparo about getting a mortgage release from Bank of America for an old mortgage. Aparo contacted O’Keefe about it, and O’Keefe checked Bank of America’s internal records for the mortgage. O’Keefe found that no record of the mortgage existed within the bank. However, Aparo and O’Keefe conspired to defraud the client and the bank by telling the client that the bank would release the mortgage for $55,000, which the client paid to Aparo through his law firm’s trust account. Aparo then paid the $55,000 to O’Keefe, and a mortgage release on behalf of Bank of America was provided to the client.

On June 11, 2008, O’Keefe pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit financial institution bribery and one count of bank fraud.

On November 24, 2009, Girouard pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit financial institution bribery. On April 30, 2010, he was sentenced to 30 months of imprisonment and was ordered to pay a fine in the amount of $15,000.

On July 24, 2008, Aparo pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit financial institution bribery and one count of bank fraud. On March 8, 2011, he was sentenced to 24 months of imprisonment and was ordered to pay a fine of $20,000.

David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced the sentence.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Eric J. Glover. 

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Allison Tussey

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