Lee Farkas, founder and former chairman of Ocala's Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp., was found guilty Tuesday of 14 counts of conspiracy and bank, wire and securities fraud. Prosecutors said his was one of the largest and longest-running bank frauds in the country. According to Bloomberg News, a federal jury in Alexandria, Va., returned the verdict after one day of deliberations. Farkas, 58, faces a sentence of up to 30 years on the conspiracy and bank fraud charges, plus 20 years or more on the wire fraud and securities fraud charges. Prosecutors said Farkas was behind a $3 billion fraud involving fake mortgage assets that duped some of the country's largest financial institutions, targeted the federal bank bailout program and contributed to the failure of Alabama-based Colonial Bank. Farkas used Taylor Bean as his own "personal piggy-bank," prosecutors said, and stole more than $30 million from the company he built to buy homes, cars, airplanes, restaurants and other side businesses.
Ex-chief of Ocala's Taylor, Bean & Whitaker found guilty on 14 counts of conspiracy, fraud
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