The vice chairman of SunFirst Bank, a small bank with four branches in southern Utah, was released from jail Monday after surrendering his passport. He will stand trial on federal money laundering charges for using the bank to process money from online poker sites in exchange for a $10 million investment in the bank and a $20,000 “consulting fee.”
Sue says this is proof positive that little banks will be prosecuted on criminal charges for money laundering while big banks that laundered hundreds of billions for drug cartels get slap on the wrist fines and no criminal indictments.
Incidentally, the SunFirst website looks like it was built by 12 yo with no design sense and prominently displays their foreclosed property. In contrast to other banks in the area that have been in existence for decades, SunFirst popped out of nowhere a few years ago and has offices in mobile trailers.
Those with accounts at SunFirst should consider getting their money out now. It’s doubtful a tiny bank can survive the indictment of an executive for money laundering. How many other small banks are handling money for online poker sites (or drug cartels)?