A federal grand jury in Denver has indicted two Colorado Springs men - one an executive with a Pueblo bank and the other a borrower - for allegedly making fraudulent loans and accepting nearly $40,000 in kickbacks.
Christopher Tumbaga, a loan officer for Colorado East Bank and Trust, faces seven counts of bank fraud, 11 counts of illegally receiving kickbacks for making loans and one count of embezzlement from a bank. Brian Headle, the borrower, faces seven counts of bank fraud and 11 counts of giving the kickbacks to Tumbaga.
Both have pleaded not guilty.
Headle was released on a $25,000 bond, while Tumbaga was released on a personal recognizance bond. An eight-day jury trial is scheduled to begin Dec. 8 in U.S. District Court in Denver before federal district Judge William J. Martinez.
During a hearing earlier this month, U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Michael Hegarty warned Headle not to threaten witnesses in the case, saying that such threats "usually result in a (separate) felony indictment, the Pueblo Chieftain reported earlier this month.
Richard Bednarski, a Colorado Springs attorney for Tumbaga, declined Tuesday to comment. Scott Varholak, an assistant public defender in Denver who represents Headle, did not respond to a telephone message left Tuesday.
The indictment alleges that Headle paid Tumbaga nearly $40,000 between November 2009 and May 2011 to make 15 loans totaling more than $1 million to Headle in names of his relatives - a way to circumvent Tumbaga's $100,000 lending limit to any borrower at the bank. Headle and Tumbaga also allegedly misrepresented the net worth of the loan applicants, their assets and the purpose of the loans; failed to disclose borrowers' existing liabilities, income and assets; and submitted false financial statements, the indictment charges.
The money loaned by the bank was part of $10 million it received in 2008 under the federal government's Troubled Asset Relief Program, which was designed to help banks and other financial entities survive the 2008 financial crisis. The $777.8 million bank is based in Lamar and operates a loan office in downtown Colorado Springs.
Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234 Twitter @wayneheilman; Facebook Wayne Heilman