Former Voyager Bank CEO Hit With Federal Indictment

Timothy Owens is accused of lying to the Federal Reserve Board and for obstruction.

A federal grand jury indicted former Voyager Bank CEO Timothy Owens this week on charges of making false statements to federal examiners in 2009 about more than $5 million in personal loans and for obstructing an investigation into the matter.
 
Owens was indicted on eight counts: five alleging obstruction of a financial institution examination and three counts of false entries in bank records and reports. He is due for his first appearance in federal court on Dec. 30.
 
The Eden Prairie-based bank fired Owens in 2011. Owens sued the bank two months later after he failed to repay loans to the bank. An American Arbitration Association panel awarded Owens more than $3 million in damages based on alleged defamatory statements made by the bank and individual directors, according to the Star Tribune. The panel, however, called the “deceptive nature” of Owens’ communications to the Federal Reserve “indefensible and blameworthty.”
 
According to the indictment filed this week in federal court, Owens allegedly submitted a false and misleading review of direct loans after the Federal Reserve Board requested such a review in 2009. The request came after the discovery of four personal loans from Voyager to Owens that totaled more than $5 million and a $7.5 million letter of credit. Owens insisted that the Voyager board discussed a letter sent by the FRB and approved a revised direct loan policy. But according to the indictment, neither matter appeared in the board’s minutes.
 

In addition to allegedly not accurately disclosing a fourth loan in which Owens increased his liabilities by $1 million, the embattled former CEO also allegedly made false statements that he was the sole beneficiary of a $3.6 million family trust and he inaccurately portrayed his financial circumstances and ability to repay his loans.
 
In a written statement obtained by the Star Tribune Wednesday, Owens said he did not defraud the bank but admitted negligence.
 
“The claim of alleged wrongdoing is in my view misguided and unfortunate, but in the end the not surprising product of 18 months of secret meetings between Voyager directors and officers with Federal bank regulators and investigators where I was excluded from attendance, despite my being a director of Voyager during much of that time period,” Owens wrote. “I believe they did this in order to convince banking regulators to prosecute me in order to hide these officers’ and directors’ misconduct.
 
Earlier this month, St. Paul-based Anchor Bank announced that it will acquire Voyager in a deal expected to close by the second quarter of 2015. The deal would make Anchor the sixth largest bank in the Twin Cities with $1.5 billion in deposits and $1.7 billion in total assets.

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