Former bank exec receives 22-month sentence

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A former executive of Old National Bancorp was sentenced in federal court Thursday to 22 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to charges of making fraudulent bank entries.

Greenwood resident Robert E. Tolle, 40, served as a loan officer and executive vice president at the Indianapolis office of the Evansville-based Old National.

He admitted to creating a fake project-inspection report in late 2007 in an attempt to prevent Old National from reviewing or downgrading a $2.8 million real estate loan.

By committing the fraud, Tolle enhanced his financial position and compensation potential at the bank, the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of Indiana said in a statement.

Bank officials in 2008 said they began scrutinizing Tolle’s portfolio early that year after several of his loans deteriorated. They said they initially found the forged inspection report and later unearthed other misconduct, such as faked signatures, that hindered Old National’s ability to seize collateral in the event loans soured.

The bank in the first half of 2008 charged off $13.9 million related to what it called “the fraud-related incident.”

Tolle submitted a plea agreement in federal court in Indianapolis in July admitting guilt to one felony count of creating a false bank entry. The charge carried a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

The agreement, which requires court approval, stipulated that Tolle receive credit under sentencing guidelines for accepting responsibility and that the government not bring additional charges related to his fraud.

Besides the prison sentence, Judge Tonya Walton Pratt also imposed restitution of $120,001 and three years court supervision following his release.

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