Former Wilmington Trust Bank President Sentenced to 6 Years in Federal Prison for Fraud

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Wilmington Trust’s former president and former chief financial officer each will go to prison for six years, pending appeals, for their roles in hiding from investors hundreds of millions of dollars worth of toxic loans at what was once Delaware’s largest independent bank.

U.S. District Judge Richard G. Andrews delivered the sentences to Robert Harra Jr. and David Gibson in a Wilmington courtroom on Monday.

Seven months ago, a Delaware jury found the former executives, and two others, guilty of more than a dozen criminal counts of bank fraud, conspiracy and making false statements – crimes committed during the two years before the demise of the du Pont family-founded bank.

The rare prosecution of crimes committed by top executives at big banks during the height of the Great Recession followed more than six years of investigation.

The multiyear prison sentences will serve as a warning in the financial sector that authorities will impose stiff penalties on bankers who lie to investors or regulators about the true value of their financial health, federal investigators said.

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