An Ellijay, Ga., banker was sentenced Friday to five years in federal prison for conspiring to defraud the shuttered Appalachian Community Bank in Ellijay.
U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a news release that Georgia has led the nation in bank failures since 2008, "including this one."
"This bank was robbed from the inside, not by a bandit carrying a gun, but a bank officer carrying a pen," Yates said.
As senior vice president of Appalachian Community, Adam Teague engaged in an "extend and pretend' scheme using the proceeds of new bank loans to hide past-due loans, federal prosecutors said. Teague also hid the bank's growing inventory of foreclosed property by directing the bank to finance sales of the properties to buyers including two shell companies he controlled -- GPH ("God Please Help") Investments and PHL ("Please Help Lord") Investments.
Appalachian was forced to close on March 19, 2010, and the FDIC was appointed as the receiver.
Teague, 39, of Ellijay, pleaded guilty Aug. 22, 2012. U.S. District Judge Richard W. Story sentenced him to five years, 10 months in prison and five years of probation.
Teague was also ordered to forfeit $5.8 million that the government said he received from the transactions, plus, all of the real property that he purchased with the proceeds of the conspiracy.