Wilmington Trust

A 45-year-old Newark resident and former senior bank official at Wilmington Trust faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine after pleading guilty last week to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

Joseph Terranova, the former vice president and division manager of the Delaware Commercial Real Estate Division of Wilmington Trust, was charged for conspiring to extend credit to bank customers under terms that were inconsistent with those approved by the bank's loan committee. He extended loans to Dover real estate developer Michael Zimmerman, who is also facing charges, officials said

Terranova also conspired to conceal the financial condition of the bank. He extended new loans to clients in order to allow them to keep existing loans and caused the bank to misrepresent its reports of past-due and non-performing loans.

“(The) guilty plea is an important step in holding responsible those individuals whose criminal conduct contributed to the failure of Wilmington Trust,” U.S. Attorney Charles M. Oberly said in a statement. “The bank was a Delaware institution, and its demise came at significant cost, economically and emotionally, to the citizens of the state. We hope that in bringing these charges and securing a conviction, others will be deterred from engaging in similar conduct.”

The case was investigated by the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the Office of the Inspector General and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

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