Yesterday afternoon, former Mainstreet Bank chairman Darryl Lane Woods pleaded guilty to criminal charges stemming from misuse of TARP funds. According to prosecutors, Woods' crime was two-fold. Part one involved applying for bailout money in November 2008, and then using the $1 million his bank received to purchase a $381,000 vacation home in Ft. Myers, Florida. Part two was responding to a February 2009 inquiry from Sigtarp head Neil Barofsky, who wanted a detailed account of what Mainstreet had done with the their cash with this:
“We are a small central Missouri community bank and while I would like to be able to provide you with very specific and quantitative responses we are currently operating under the assumption that the worst scenario could occur and the TARP proceeds will provide vitally needed infusions to a bleeding patient."
Were prosecutors correct in reading the above as a deliberate attempt on Woods' part to "cover up the scheme"? Based on the fact that he didn't try and argue the charge, the answer is probably yes. But it's also possible that he did so in an effort to put this whole thing behind him and move on with his life (which, per his punishment, will not include any "involvement in banking"* and might include one year in jail), despite the fact that he was not trying to be deceptive with the term "bleeding patient" and might well have been referring to the gut renovation his condo's kitchen so desperately needed. If you're thinking he bought the place without intending to ditch the Formica counter tops, rip out the laminate floors, and knock down the wall separating the living area to create an open-concept room that allowed him to talk to his fantasy football league while whipping up snacks and bevs, you'd best do yourself a favor and think again!
Bank Executive Admits to Using Bailout Money to Buy Condo [Dealbook]
*As in, if he goes to the Chase Mobile website his phone shocks him; if tries to take 5 singles out of the "bank" in Monopoly some special sensor (attached to the thimble) slaps him across the face.