Banking

Former small-bank CEO convicted on bribery, theft charges

The former CEO of a small Pennsylvania bank may be headed to prison after being convicted on charges that included bank bribery and theft.

Edward Shin, the former CEO of Noah Bank in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, was found guilty of all charges in a jury trial in a federal court in New York City. Prosecutors accused him of using his insider position to issue Small Business Administration-backed loans to entities in which he secretly held a stake.

Shin, 58, was convicted of charges that each carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, including bank bribery, theft of funds by a bank officer and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. He was also found guilty of two related charges that carry a maximum sentence of five years.

The Department of Justice alleged that between 2009 and 2013, Edward Shin “secretly solicited and received bribe payments” tied to small business loans made by Noah Bank.

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The federal district judge in charge of the case, John Cronan, will determine Shin’s sentence at a later date.

Authorities arrested Shin in 2019 after an investigation that included the inspectors general at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the SBA and the FBI. Also part of the investigation was the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the watchdog set up to monitor fraud in the bank bailout program after the financial crisis.

Prosecutors said that between 2009 and 2013, Shin “secretly solicited and received bribe payments” tied to SBA-backed loans. Shin was charged with causing the bank to make those loans to companies in which he secretly had an ownership interest. 

When the bank’s business loans did not have a broker, Shin brought in a friend who was a loan broker and who split a fee with Shin, according to prosecutors. They called it an “illegal kickback.”

In one example that prosecutors flagged, the bank made a $950,000 SBA loan to a New York company that Shin owned along with the broker and another unnamed individual. The company defaulted on the loan, and the bank suffered a loss of more than $590,000.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York prosecuted the case.

Noah Bank, which did not respond to a request for comment, is a minority-owned depository institution that focuses on serving the Asian-American community and has six branches in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.

The bank had roughly $303.3 million of assets and 65 employees at the end of March, down from $418.2 million of assets and 85 employees three years earlier, before prosecutors arrested Shin.

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