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Ex-CEO of Wis. bank indicted for bank fraud, embezzlement, obstruction

Former FarmersExchange Bank President and CEO Geffrey Sawtelle was charged withexecuting a scheme to defraud the Neshkoro, Wis.-based bank and relatedcriminal charges, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The indictment alleges, among others, that Sawtelle causedthe bank to buy car racing-related items for his personal use, repeatedlyawarded himself fraudulent bonuses that were not approved by the bank's board, originateda series of straw loans in the names of other people for his own benefit,embezzled the proceeds of the sale of a 2002 Corvette that he had previouslypurchased and expensed to the bank, obstructed the examinations of the bank bythe FDIC, and made false statements to an FDIC representative.

The release said that 23 of the charges carry a maximumprison sentence of 30 years each, while the obstruction charges each carry amaximum prison sentence of five years.