Lawsuit Filed Against Bank
Former employee accuses Mainstreet Bank of Ashland of fraud
A lawsuit filed against a Mid-Missouri bank alleges the bank and its leaders committed fraud and misused federal funds for bonuses and to buy vacation homes. Sheriff's deputies served Mainstreet Bank of Ashland and its CEO John Cochran with court documents Tuesday morning. The 39-page lawsuit was filed by a former bank employee who says she was asked to lie on legal documents. While it is a civil suit, the papers do allege a number of criminal wrongdoings. The documents outline all of the allegations made by former employee Leslie McLeland. Her lawyer is asking the court to stop Main Street Bank from foreclosing on her home. Tony Dewitt say the foreclosure on his client's home is retribution for coming forward with allegations against the bank. "She felt like she was forced to because the bank has moved forward with this foreclosure action when all of the payments were made and the loan was not in default," said Dewitt. The court documents say former CEO Darryl Woods went around federal regulations to receive a $10,000 bonus that was not allowed. They allege he used nearly $400,000 to buy a condo in Florida. McLeland goes on to claim current CEO John Cochran "perpetrated torturous acts" against her. However, Cochran says he has never met with McLeland. ABC 17 News asked Cochran about the allegations that the bank misused TARP funds to buy a condominium in Florida. "You don't have time for a discussion on TARP funds," Cochran replied. Cochran says TARP was a poorly conceived and poorly implemented program designed to save loans that were not being paid. He says it wasn't until nine months after receiving the money that the bank received any rules on how to use it. "The money was out the door before any rules of any kind were established," Cochran said. "But, that said, there's an allegation of a misuse of TARP funds. Simply didn't happen." Cochran says that's just one of a number of factual errors within the court documents. He says McLeland was never asked to falsify any information and there is no documentation to refute those claims. However, he would not go as far to show that documentation. Former Mainstreet Bank CEO Daryl Woods was not removed from his position, rather McLeland says he was busy running other businesses and needed help. Cochran says despite the errors her found, he was surprised at how spot on other information is. "And frankly, as detailed as some of the information is, I'm curious as to how that information is even known," Cochran said. McLeland's attorney has been working with federal investigators about the the criminal allegations. Several local law enforcement agencies claimed to know nothing about the problems with Mainstreet Bank. McLeland's lawyers has asked a judge for an initial hearing on Friday. He has until October 17 to get a judge to stop the bank from foreclosing on McLeland's home.