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Published: Monday, 5/5/2008

Judge reduces by four years the prison term of Oakwood Bank embezzler

BLADE STAFF

A federal judge in Toledo Monday reduced by four years the 14-year sentence of Mark Steven Miller, 52, convicted in 2003 of embezzling nearly $49 million from the Oakwood Deposit Bank in Paulding County.

The reduction ordered by U.S. District Judge David Katz came at the request of the U.S. Attorney s office, which said that Miller had provided key testimony leading to the conviction of Florida casino operator Sam Gray, who received nearly $41 million of the embezzled money.

Judge Katz noted that Miller had provided the testimony voluntarily in the Gray case and had become truly remorseful of his crime. He also aided FBI and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. investigations that lead to the recovery or summary judgments of nearly $4 million of the embezzled sums from Miller s two brothers, Greg and Jeff Miller.

In making his ruling, the judge said rewarding valuable cooperation is a carrot to hold up to defendants who otherwise might not help the government pursue other criminals.

Miller has served 4 years of his 14-year sentence at the Elkton Federal Correctional Institution in Elkton, Ohio. With the four-year reduction he could be eligible for parole in three years, said his attorney Martin Mohler.

The bank s executive vice president had kept a dual set of financial books seven years ago in the town of 850 people about 60 miles southwest of Toledo. The scheme was revealed when a check-kiting complaint was filed by another area bank.

Oakwood Bank was closed in 2002 and sold to State Bank and Trust Co, owned by Rurban Financial Corp. in Defiance.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com



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