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Pacific Western pays nearly $1.8M to settle case against acquired bank

Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Pacific Western Bank paid nearly $1.8 million to settle allegations that First California Bank, a bank it acquired in 2013, facilitated the embezzlement scheme of a former Democratic campaign treasurer, the Associated Press reported Oct. 6.

In 2011, the California Department of Financial Institutions investigated how First California Bank handled Kinde Durkee's accounts. According to AP, the bank allegedly ignored warning signs that Durkee was embezzling money.

Durkee, who ran Durkee & Associates and worked as treasurer for politicians and nonprofit organizations, had pleaded guilty to five counts of mail fraud in 2012, the report added. She admitted to embezzling over $7 million from clients but prosecutors believe the figure was closer to $10.5 million.

Pacific Western Bank parent PacWest Bancorp completed its acquisition of First California Financial Group Inc. on May 31, 2013.