The U.S. District Attorney for Delaware has decided not to retry a case involving former Wilmington Trust President Robert Harra and three associates.
“In my judgment, the practical implications of the Third Circuit’s opinion and the challenges currently facing our community – such as unprecedented violent crime, the rising number of opioid overdose deaths, and domestic terrorism – counsel in favor of declining to retry David Gibson, Robert V.A. Harra, William North and Kevyn Rakowski,” stated David Weiss.
The appeals court vacated the previous conviction of the four but left open the refiling of charges.
Weiss said investigating whether bankers concealed bad loans and undertook other illegal actions had its successes.
“The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware and our federal partners opened the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the demise of the Wilmington Trust Company in 2011,” Weiss stated. “We have interviewed hundreds of witnesses and reviewed hundreds of thousands of documents. As is typically the case in any long-term investigation and prosecution, we experienced successes and disappointments along the way. We secured guilty pleas to fraud and related offenses from seven defendants and negotiated a settlement with the bank which, among other things, called for the forfeiture of $60 million for victims.”
Following disclosure of Wilmington Trust’s loan problems, a company that was often touted as a “widows and orphans” stock plunge, with Buffalo, NY-based M&T acquiring the bank in what is known as a “take under” price of $300 million.
Hundreds lost their jobs after the sale. M&T became the largest retail bank in Delaware and operates investment activities under the Wilmington Trust brand.
Left unanswered were questions Wilmington Trust CEO Ted Cecala, who has never faced criminal or civil charges.