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Executives from United Commercial Bank in San Francisco are being charged with defrauding the government. Photo: Ladybugbkt on Flickr
The occupy Wall Street movement may finally have a poster boy or two to point the finger at.
Three San Francisco bank executives became the first senior executives to receive federal bailout money to be criminally charged with trying to defraud the government.
United Commercial Bank CEO Thomas Wu and vice presidents Ebrahim Shabudin and Thomas Yu are being charged with cooking their books and lying to auditors before accepting a $298 million taxpayer bailout, according to the San Francisco Examiner.
"Shabudin and Yu are the first senior executives of a TARP bank charged in connection with a scheme to defraud investors, which included the Treasury, and by extension the American taxpayer," acting TARP Special Inspector General Christy Romero said in a statement.
In 2008 the bank received $298 million from then President George W. Bush's Troubled Asset Relief Program.
A year later, the bank filed for bankruptcy and now the government is alleging its executives hid the true state of United Commercial Bank from the government in the lead up to receiving a bailout.
An attorney for the executives said his clients are innocent and they are simply being used as scapegoats.
None of the TARP funds have been recovered and it is estimated that the final loses to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. could run $2.5 billion.