Former Cecil Bank president gets 2 years in federal prison

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A U.S. District Court judged in Baltimoresentenced the former president of Cecil Bank, Mary Beyer Halsey, to two years in federal prison on charges related to a scheme that led to buying a foreclosed home at a deep discount and concealing the transaction.

Halsey, 59, of Rising Sun, MD, pleaded guilty on July 31 to the federal charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, receipt of a bribe by a bank official, and false statement in bank records.

Halsey was ordered to forfeit her interest in the home inRising Sunand to pay restitution of $145,000.

Cecil Bank, a customer base that stretched into New Castle County, DE, has struggled with financial issues and was under federal supervision. The bank has sold branch offices.

“Mary Beyer Halsey will now serve time in federal prison after she used her position as President and CEO of Cecil Bank for her personal benefit, causing a loss to the bank, which had already received federal taxpayer funds as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program,” said U.S. District Attorney Robert K. Hur. “Corrupt bank officials undermine the public’s trust in our financial system.”

The case was a federal matter since Cecil Bank, located in Elkton, had received $11.5 million in taxpayer funds in 2008, under the Capital Purchase Program, as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The program was designed to shore up the finances of banks.

Also involved in the transaction was Daniel Whitehurst, of Bel Air, MD. Whitehurst pleaded guilty under seal to the federal charge of mail fraud on April 6, 2018.He faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Sentences are typically much shorter than the maximum.

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Former Cecil Bank CEO indicted on fraud, bribery charges

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