Bank CEO Stephen M. Calk Charged With Corruptly Soliciting A Presidential Administration Position In Exchange For Approving $16 Million In Loans
Audrey Strauss, the Attorney for the United States, Acting Under Authority Conferred by 28 U.S.C. § 515, William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Patricia Tarasca, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Region for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Office of Inspector General (“FDIC OIG”), announced today the unsealing of an indictment charging STEPHEN M. CALK with financial institution bribery for corruptly using his position as the head of a federally insured bank to issue millions of dollars in high-risk loans to a borrower in exchange for a personal benefit: assistance from the borrower in obtaining a senior position with an incoming presidential administration. CALK is expected to be presented this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman.
Ms. Strauss said: “As alleged, Stephen M. Calk abused the power entrusted to him as the top official of a federally insured bank by approving millions of dollars in high-risk loans in an effort to secure a personal benefit, namely an appointment as Secretary of the Army or another similarly high-level position in the incoming presidential administration. Calk’s alleged attempt to obtain such an appointment was unsuccessful, and the loans he approved were ultimately downgraded by the bank’s primary regulator. Thanks to the outstanding work of the FBI and FDIC OIG, Calk’s alleged corrupt scheme has now resulted in a federal criminal charge.”
FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said: “As alleged, Calk went to great lengths to avoid banking violations in an attempt to secure a senior position in a presidential administration. He curried favor with an influential borrower, exploited his position as CEO of a bank and its holding company, and exercised control over the bank and the borrower’s loans, intentionally turning his back on the many red flags posted along the way. His attempt at petitioning for political favors was unsuccessfu