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NORFOLK(AP) -- The former chief executive officer of the Bank of the Commonwealth and three former bank vice presidents have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that they conspired to commit bank fraud.

The Bank of the Commonwealth was headquartered in Norfolk, serving Hampton Roads and northeastern North Carolina until it failed in 2011. The indictment unsealed Thursday says top executives masked non-performing assets at the bank for their own personal benefit and to the detriment of the bank. Among other things, the indictment says they conspired to conceal the bank's true condition by funneling bank-owned property to troubled borrowers and overdrawing demand deposit accounts to make loan payments.

'The Bank of the Commonwealth's high risk lending practices resulted in soaring losses after the 2008 financial crisis. Led by former CEO and Board Chairman Edward Woodard, these Bank insiders and their favored borrowers allegedly conspired to hide the rapidly deteriorating financial condition of the Bank through fraud,' said U.S. Attorney MacBride. 'For more than 30 years, this community put their trust and their money in the Bank of the Commonwealth. These charges portray a Bank leadership that betrayed that trust for their own profit at the detriment to their own Bank, its shareholders and the community it served.'

The indictment says the bank's failure will cost the federal government through an insurance fund more than $260 million.

The 25-count indictment was returned Wednesday and made public Thursday after five arrests were carried out.

CHARGED:
Edward J. Woodard, 69, who served as the Bank's chief executive officer and chairman of the board for more than three decades until he was forced to step down as chairman in April 2010 and forced to retired from the Bank in December 2010. Edward Woodard is charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, false entry in a bank record, multiple counts of unlawful participation in a loan, multiple counts of false statement to a financial institution, and multiple counts of misapplication of bank funds.

Simon Hounslow, 47, who served as an executive vice president and chief lending officer until the Bank closed in September 2011. Hounslow is charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, misapplication of bank funds, false statement to a financial institution, and multiple counts of false entry in a bank record.

Stephen G. Fields, 48, who served as an executive vice president and commercial loan officer until he was terminated in December 2010. Fields is charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, multiple counts of false entry in a bank record, multiple counts of false statement to a financial institution, and multiple counts of misapplication of bank funds.

Troy Brandon Woodard, 35, the son of Edward Woodard, and who was employed by a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bank as a vice president and mortgage loan specialist until he was terminated in January 2011. Brandon Woodard is charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, and multiple counts of unlawful participation in a loan.

Thomas E. Arney, 56, who leased office space on the third floor of the Bank's headquarters and owned and operated a residential development company, several restaurants, rental properties, and a car restoration business. Arney is charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, unlawful participation in a loan, misapplication of bank funds, and multiple counts of false statement to a financial institution.

Dwight A. Etheridge, 47, who owned and operated a residential and commercial development company, as well as an employment staffing company. Etheridge is charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, misapplication of bank funds, and multiple counts of false statement to a financial institution.

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