Community First executive
says audit does not involve
By MARGIE WUEBKER
& TIMOTHY COX
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
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
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
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.