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CommunityOne Bank Settles Fraud Suit

Asheboro-based CommunityOne Bank today settled a federal charge that it turned a blind eye to a customer who was operating a Ponzi scheme. In a deferred prosecution agreement, CommunityOne says it failed to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program and agrees to pay $400,000 restitution to victims of a Ponzi scheme operated by Keith Franklin Simmons. Federal prosecutors convicted Simmons of running a $40 million scam over the course of two and a half years, almost entirely through an account at CommunityOne Bank. The law requires banks detect and report suspicious transactions. CommunityOne Bank needed to resolve the case before it could to move forward with plans for a merger with Granite Falls-based Bank of Granite.