Former Charleston bank president is sentenced to 51 months in prison

Friday, November 11, 2016

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - A former bank officer was sentenced to prison for fraudulently obtaining $335,000.

Brian Joe Cox, 38, of Charleston will serve 51 months in prison in for felony bank fraud, federal officials said. He appeared Thursday before United States District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh Jr.

At his plea in August, Cox admitted that in March 2015, a customer of Focus Bank contacted him in an effort to obtain a business loan for $85,000. Cox prepared the loan application to obtain the funds stating the purpose of the loan was to purchase a truck and trailer.

After completing the loan, the $85,000 in loan proceeds was deposited into the account of the company. Just after the loan proceeds were deposited, Cox withdrew the funds from the account for his benefit, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's office. Cox concealed the fact that he withdrew those funds from the Bank.

On Aug. 22, 2014, Cox contacted another bank loan customer, asking the customer to borrow $85,000 from Focus Bank and give that money to Cox. Cox stated he would be responsible for the loan, according to testimony.

Cox prepared the loan documents, purportedly made to purchase farm equipment, and the loan was approved by Cox, acting in his capacity as a loan officer for Focus Bank. The customer went to a Bank teller and presented the check to a teller, requesting payment of $85,000 in cash. The customer then drove to a location suggested by Cox and gave the $85,000 in cash to Cox. Cox concealed the fact that he withdrew those funds from the Bank.

The investigation revealed three other victims who agreed to the same conduct. The total amount of misapplied loans received by Cox amounted to $335,000.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney Keith D. Sorrell handled the prosecution for the government.

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