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Published: Friday, 4/28/2006

Property sale benefits Oakwood depositors

BY HOMER BRICKEY
BLADE SENIOR BUSINESS WRITER

OAKWOOD, Ohio - Several properties in the Lima area have been sold or are being sold to add $1 million to a fund that will partially repay 71 depositors owed money from the 2002 failure of the Oakwood Deposit Bank Co.

Any additional money will come in handy, said a hospital administrator and a village mayor who are hoping the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. will soon send another payment.

So far, the federal agency has restored about 40 percent of the $4.3 million in deposits that were in excess of the normal $100,000 insurance limit when regulators closed the small bank because of a $49 million embezzlement.

"I haven't had a discussion with anyone from the FDIC in [a couple of years]," said Gary Adkins, chief executive of Paulding County Hospital, which is owed $792,000 of its original deposits of about $1.4 million. "But I'd rather have a check than a phone call."

The money, he said, will go for supplies and equipment at the 45-year-old hospital.

Bud Henke, major of this village of 850 in Paulding County, said the town is owed about $100,000 from the embezzlement. "We're still trying to recover," he said.

In recent weeks, one property that had been financed with the embezzled money - Springbrook Golf Club in Lima - was sold for $783,000 to Nom Lima Robb, an area investment firm.

And Yocum Realty Co. is trying to sell several car washes that were bought with some of the money embezzled by Mark Steven Miller, former executive vice president and chief executive officer of the bank.

Miller confessed to an FBI agent in 2002 that he had sold certificates of deposit over the Internet, altered the bank's books, and diverted more than $40 million for other purposes. Most went to fund Stardancer Casino Inc., a now-defunct gambling-ship operation in South Carolina and Florida.

Federal and state regulators closed the Oakwood bank on Feb. 1, 2002. Miller began serving a 14-year sentence in late 2003 at the Elkton Federal Correctional Institution in eastern Ohio.

Earlier, the government sold the gambling-ship equipment, Miller's home in Grover Hill, a second home, a gasoline station and convenience store owned by the Miller family, and about 100 acres in northwest Ohio.

The village and other bank depositors sued the successor, State Bank and Trust Co., of Defiance, alleging that the FDIC mishandled the repayments and that the Defiance bank should pay the difference. A federal judge in Toledo ruled in State Bank's favor this year, and that case is on appeal.

Con tact Homer Brickey at:

homerbrickey@theblade.com

or 419-724-6129.



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