FBI offers $20K reward in former Fifth Third banker’s death

The FBI on Tuesday offered a $20,000 reward for information that could help solve the 2011 killing of a U.S. banking executive who spent a significant part of his career in Indianapolis.

Maurice Spagnoletti was an executive vice president at Doral Bank in Puerto Rico when he was repeatedly shot as he drove his Lexus on one of San Juan's busiest highways. No one has been arrested in the 56-year-old banker's death.

Police said they believe the killing was professionally orchestrated.

spagnolettiMaurice Spagnoletti

Spagnoletti was former president and CEO of Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bancorp's central Indiana operations in Indianapolis. He joined Fifth Third in 2000 and served as Central Indiana Region CEO from 2002 to 2006, succeeding veteran banker Mike Alley.  

Spagnoletti had been an executive vice president of Puerto Rico-based Doral Bank for about six months when he was killed.

Puerto Rico regulators shut down Doral Bank last year. The bank had struggled in recent years with shrinking assets and a multimillion-dollar fraud case.

FBI agents raided the bank's information technology offices in December 2014. U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez said at the time that it might be related to a probe into Spagnoletti's killing.

In June 2013, Spagnoletti 's widow, Marisa, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Doral Bank and its executives. She withdrew the suit seven months later.

In the suit, Marisa Spagnoletti  said her husband was investigating what he suspected were improper transactions before he was killed. "Spagnoletti continually questioned the accounting practices of the firm, as he did not believe the reporting to be accurate," she said in the suit.

She also alleged that two days after her husband was killed, as she got ready to fly to New Jersey, a person who worked with Doral security approached her at the San Juan airport and said he knew of a plan to kill her husband and that another bank security official was involved.

The suit alleges that Spagnoletti repeatedly raised concerns about loan and profit reporting with CEO Glen Wakeman, but was rebuffed. It also alleges that Spagnoletti believed funds were being improperly disbursed, up to $30,000 a week for services not rendered.

Spagnoletti also allegedly discovered that the bank was offering different rates to different clients, and that it issued a $1 million loan to a woman who claimed a nonexistent hotel as collateral.

The suit alleged that Enrique Ubarri Baragano, the bank's executive vice president and chief counsel, had tried to block Spagnoletti from reporting his concerns. It also says that Ubarri and Spagnoletti had argued about Annelise Figueroa, then the bank's executive vice president of facilities and operations. Wakeman allegedly had ordered Spagnoletti to fire her but Ubarri opposed the move.

"Spagnoletti lived in fear of imminent death and suffered mental anguish prior to being shot multiple times while driving alone in his car," the suit said.

Marisa Spagnoletti 's lawyers called withdrawing the suit "the most prudent course of action at this juncture," according to court papers.

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