Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Office of Inspector General

Former Cokato Bank Executive Pleads Guilty to Lying to a Federal Agent



PRESS RELEASE.  Thursday, August 17, 2006

Contact: Rachel K. Paulose, United States Attorney (612) 664-5600 Jeanne F. Cooney, Director of External Relations (612) 664-5600 Karen Bailey, Media Coordinator (612) 664-5610

Former Cokato Bank Executive Pleads Guilty to Lying to a Federal Agent

Minneapolis - A former executive at the State Bank of Cokato, Minnesota, pled guilty today to lying to a federal agent who was investigating fraud at the bank. Donald J. Peroutka, age 64, of Cokato, Minnesota, entered his plea before U.S. District Court Judge David S. Doty. According to court documents, Peroutka lied to a special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI") regarding a $50,000 loan made to a bank customer in June of 2003. Specifically, Peroutka executed an authorization for a guaranteed Small Business Administration ("SBA") loan for a bank customer. As a condition of that guarantee, Peroutka agreed in writing that the bank would ensure the customer had put into the business at least $50,000 from other sources before the SBA loan was awarded. A short time later, however, the bank loaned the customer the $50,000 necessary to inject into the business in order to the meet the SBA guaranteed loan requirement. That $50,000 loan was made with Peroutka's knowledge and consent, although the SBA did not know anything about it. Subsequently, the customer wrote a personal check in the amount of $50,000 to the small business. Peroutka placed a copy of that check in the customer's bank loan file to verify compliance with SBA requirements. When later questioned about the matter, however, Peroutka falsely stated to the FBI agent that he did not recall providing $50,000 in bank funds to the customer, and he did not know where the customer had obtained the $50,000. Following Peroutka's appearance in court today, Assistant United States Attorney Hank Shea, the prosecutor in this case, said, "It is always a crime to lie to a federal law enforcement agent. People who lie to FBI agents should expect to be prosecuted." Peroutka faces a maximum potential penalty of five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence will be handed down by Judge Doty on a date not yet scheduled. This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations; and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of Inspector General.

Last updated: 8/22/06

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