Two Former Bank Executives Sentenced for Role in Calif. Bank’s Failure

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Two former executives at Sonoma Valley Bank were sentenced to prison after convictions tied to their involvement in the California bank’s failure in 2010.

Sean Cutting, who had been the bank’s CEO, and Brian Melland, its former chief loan officer, were each sentenced to eight years and four months in prison, according to a Monday press release from the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The sentencing follows a multiyear investigation by several federal and state enforcement agencies.

Cutting and Melland were convicted in December for crimes that included bank fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, falsifying bank records, lying to regulators and conspiracy.

David Lonich, a former lawyer for Bijan Madjlessi, a real estate developer who died in a car accident in 2014, was also sentenced to six years and eight months in prison for similar offenses.

It was determined that the defendants were involved in schemes to defraud financial institutions, including Sonoma Valley, which opened in 1988 and had $337 million in total assets when it failed.

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