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Resource ID: #17922
Subject: Banking
Source: Gazette (Charleston, W.Va.)
Affiliation: 
Date: September 2, 3, 10, 26; October 5, 13, 16, 20, 21, 26; November 4, 5, 17

Description

Messina chronicles the downfall of the First National Bank of Keystone, which was closed in early September 1999 after a federal fraud investigation. The bank, which had been listed as one of the most profitable community banks in the country, apparently listed $515 million in assets that it simply didn't have. Many depositors in impoverished McDowell County, in southern West Virginia, lost money when the bank closed. One couple lost $123,000 of their $223,000 retirement account fund (FDIC covered the remaining $100,000). Later articles revealed the possibility of insider trading by the bank's major stockholders: More than 59,000 shares of bank stock were sold between the time that investigators began a probe of the bank and its Sept. 1 shutdown. "The stockholders who sold their shares got $15 million. Those who bought the stock woke up Sept. 1 with worthless holdings."

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