VP of defunct mortgage lender TBW pleads guilty
Raymond Bowman, the former vice president and director of secondary marketing at Taylor, Bean & Whitaker, pleaded guilty this week to taking part in a scheme that ultimately led to nearly $2 billion in losses and the failure of Alabama-based Colonial Bank. Bowman pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on Monday to one count of conspiracy to commit bank, securities and wire fraud and one count of making false statements. For each individual count, he faces up to five years in prison, restitution and fines maxing out at $250,000. The plea Bowman entered Monday ends his role in a six-year scheme that concluded with executives at TBW accused of defrauding various entities, including Colonial BancGroup, shareholders of Colonial Bank, investors in Ocala Funding and outside investors, court records say. The final part of the scheme occurred in the months leading up to the failure of TBW and Colonial, when executives at TBW allegedly used a bogus equity investment into Colonial Bank to defraud the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) of $550m. Early indictments claimed Bowman and his co-conspirators began using TBW's relationship with Colonial Bank to cover up TBW losses as early as 2002. In court records, attorneys allege "one of the goals of the scheme to defraud was to obtain funding for TBW to assist it in covering expenses related to operations and servicing payments owed to third-party purchasers of loans and/or mortgage-backed securities." As part of the fraudulent scheme, TBW caused Colonial Bank to acquire tens of millions of assets from TBW that had no actual value, court documents claim. "Additionally, the defendant participated in the artificial inflation of the value of TBW mortgage servicing rights, was aware of significant collateral deficits in a mortgage funding facility operated by TBW," according to court filings. The scheme involved Bowman and several other executives. Last summer, TBW's former chairman Lee Bentley Farkas was taken into custody on a 16-count indictment. Charges against Farkas included one count of conspiracy to commit bank, wire and securities fraud; six counts of bank fraud; six counts of wire fraud; and three counts of securities fraud. In late February, TBW's former treasurer Desiree Brown, 45, also pleaded guilty to her role in the conspiracy. Brown could face up to 30 years in prison when she's sentenced in June for her role in the scheme. Write to Kerri Panchuk.