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Criminal probe coming?

  • Chad Empey checks for tenants in an apartment he owned in the Park Lane Villas. Empey, a glass contractor, claims a Marin County developer who owes his business over $200,000 in materials also convinced him to purchase the properties and then collected rents while not paying the mortgage over the past two years.

Cutting, the bank's former president, is now senior relationship manager at Rabobank's new Sonoma office. Cathy Gorham, former chief operating officer at Sonoma Valley Bank, is branch manager there.

Brian Melland, who was the commercial loan officer in Sonoma that worked closely with Madjlessi, is now at Sonoma Bank in Santa Rosa as a workout specialist.

Cutting, Gorham and Melland all declined comment.

John Davidovich, an attorney for the inspector general of the FDIC, said his agency is not preparing the report many people in Sonoma had expected, which would outline in part why the bank failed. Under a July rule change, the "material loss report" is no longer required unless the government incurs $200 million or more in losses from a bank failure, he said.

But a criminal investigation could still be occurring, Davidovich said, although he declined to confirm or deny if one was under way.

It is not unusual for a criminal investigation stemming from a bank failure to take a year or more, he said.

"Bank fraud cases tend to be very document-intensive investigations," he said. "They do take more time."

You can reach Staff Writer Nathan Halverson at 703-1577 or nathan.halverson@pressdemocrat.com. News Researcher Teresa Meikle contributed to this story.


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