NOVEMBER 24, 2005 - Posted at 7:59 a.m. CST
TEXARKANA, AR - A former banker could serve more than four years in a federal prison. Former Regions Bank executive Jim Thomas, 57, was convicted of misapplying loan funds and making a false statement involving a loan. In addition to the four-year sentence, the judge also gave a shorter, alternate sentence in case current federal sentencing guidelines are ruled unconstitutional.
Thomas was the Regions Bank branch manager and president of the Ashdown office when he took out a $300,000 loan. The branch had an aggregate lending ceiling of $250,000 for loan approvals in Ashdown, and any larger loan had to be approved by headquarters.
Prosecutors argued that the loan bypassed the Texarkana office and was routed directly to the Little Rock office with word that it had been approved when it had not been approved through proper channels.