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Bank Chairman Pleads Guilty To Using TARP Funds To Buy Luxury Condo

The bank chairman could be sentenced up to a year in prison, may also have to pay a $100,000 fine, and is barred from future work in the financial services industry.

Image from: Google Maps

This Google Maps street view shows the condo building where bank chairman Darryl L. Woods bought a condo using TARP money.

The chairman of a small bank in Missouri entered a guilty plea on Tuesday to lying about how he used bailout money given to banks during the 2008 economic crisis. Rather than using the federal funds to stabilize his bank,the Mainstreet Bank, court records say, the chairman spent about a third of the money on an oceanfront condo in Florida.

Darryl Layne Woods, 48, of Columbia, Mo., could be sentenced up to a year in prison, may also have to pay a $100,000 fine, and is barred from future work in the financial services industry. Lying to federal officials about how the money was spent is a misdemeanor crime.

Court records do not say whether Woods will be charged with misusing the money, which came from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.

“At a time when many other Americans were losing their homes, he was siphoning off public funds to buy a luxury vacation condo in Florida,” Tammy Dickinson, U.S. Attorney for the Western District, said in a statement. “These federal funds were intended to help stabilize the economy during a fiscal crisis. Instead, this disgraced business leader took advantage of the situation to benefit himself and other bank executives, then lied to federal investigators in an attempt to hide his scheme.”

Court records say that Woods, the chairman of Mainstreet Bank in Ashland, Mo., had located the Fort Myers, Fla. condo and started negotiating on a price between July 2007 and Sept. 2008.

Several months later, in November 2008, the bank’s holding company, Calvert Financial Corporation, which Woods also headed, applied for TARP money. The bank received $1.04 million.

That winter, on February 2, 2009, Woods closed on the condo, paying $381,500 that he had transferred from the bank.

One week later, when TARP administrators asked how he had spent the more than $1 million, he failed to disclose that he had bought a luxury condo for himself and other executives.

A sentencing date for Woods has not been scheduled.

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