Local Pictures
Classified Ads
 Announce Births
Email Us
Buy A Copy
Local Links

Issue Index

01-11-04: Bank officials mum on details of inquiry

Community First executive says audit does not involve
customer accounts

An audit — possibly involving the FBI — is under way at Community First Bank & Trust Co. in Celina, although no findings have been made as yet.
John Hoying, the bank’s senior vice president, called the investigation an “audit,” and added that the inquiry does not involve customer accounts.
“We are conducting an audit of internal accounts,” Hoying said. “No customer accounts are involved and no results have come from this ongoing audit as yet.”
Noting the audit did not come from “anything special,” Hoying explained such procedures occur frequently in various bank departments.
He declined to specify the department being examined, adding audit activities could lead to other areas in the weeks ahead. He also declined to answer questions regarding an employee being placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the audit and reports of the employee’s office being sealed.
“There are no charges at this point and today no offices are sealed,” Hoying added.
Two sources inside the bank, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed Friday afternoon that some sort of investigation is taking place.
An employee in the credit control department reportedly has been put on leave and the employee’s office locked up, all without any formal explanation from management, the sources said.
They also indicated two agents, possibly from the FBI, were granted access to the sealed office recently.
When asked whether FBI agents were involved with the audit, Hoying said, “You’ll have to ask them.”
Special agent Tom Bailey, assigned to the FBI office in Lima, refuted local rumors that an employee had been led out of the bank in handcuffs.
“We have not arrested anyone in Mercer County,” Bailey told The Daily Standard late Friday morning. “The last arrest made in connection with a bank case involved a robbery in Van Wert.”
FBI agents would neither confirm nor deny reports of an investigation. Bailey said information is released to news media upon the filing of formal charges. He noted some investigations continue for months before a federal indictment is returned. Sometimes such investigations uncover no wrongdoing, he said.
When asked whether FBI agents had visited his office in late December to report they were looking into improprieties at Community First Bank & Trust, Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey responded, “I can’t release any information about an investigation another agency is conducting.
Attempts to reach Samuel J. Munafo, bank president and CEO, were unsuccessful Friday. Other bank executive officers refused to comment on the issue.


Phone: (419)586-2371,   Fax: (419)586-6271
All content copyright 2004
The Standard Printing Company
P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH 45822


L10 Web Stats Reporter 3.15 LevelTen Hit Counter - Free Web Counters
LevelTen Web Design Company - Website Development, Flash & Graphic Designers