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OTS SEEKS $230,000 AND PROHIBITION OF FORMER GEORGIA THRIFT EXECUTIVE

 WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- In a legal action begun today, the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) seeks restitution and civil money penalties of approximately $230,000 and prohibition from the banking industry of the former president of a Georgia thrift.
 OTS has accused Lawrence A. Swanson Jr., former president and a director of Fidelity Federal Savings Bank, Dalton, Ga., of violating laws and regulations, abusing his position as an officer and director, breach of fiduciary duty, and unsafe and unsound practices. The regulator wants Swanson to pay restitution of $118,000 and civil money penalties amounting to $112,073.
 OTS said that during the three years following the date of conversion from a mutual to a stock institution, Swanson bought stock in his own name from various other stockholders in a manner that violated federal regulations and the terms of the approved conversion plan.
 Swanson's actions, said OTS, violated federal regulations requiring a notice of change in control when an individual acquires presumptive control of more than 10 percent of a thrift's outstanding shares. Another officer of Fidelity, at Swanson's request, made purchases of stock from 1986 through 1989 in that officer's name, but held half of each purchase for Swanson as his nominee.
 Ultimately, said OTS, Swanson, acting in concert with the other officer, controlled more than 10 percent of Fidelity's stock, although the shares he held alone never exceeded 10 percent of the outstanding shares. Swanson never filed the requisite change of control filings with OTS.
 Finally, OTS also charged that Swanson diverted the greater portion of his usually large bonus to another officer at Fidelity to be reimbursed later by that officer. Swanson caused the other officer to be paid $228,000, and himself only $22,000, although Swanson customarily received the largest bonus at Fidelity. OTS charged that the other officer then paid $118,000 to Swanson, although the thrift's books reflect Swanson received only the $22,000.
 When queried by an examiner as to the reason for his unusually small bonus, Swanson further violated regulations by making a false statement in writing; omitting that he caused another officer to pay him $118,000, a material fact that Swanson was required to disclose to the regulators.
 -0- 1/26/93
 /CONTACT: Thomas P. Mason of the Office of Thrift Supervision, 202-906-6688/


CO: Office of Thrift Supervision; Fidelity Federal Savings Bank ST: Georgia IN: FIN SU:

KD -- DC021 -- 9232 01/26/93 15:58 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 26, 1993
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