Three men sentenced for bank fraud

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embezzlement
Men arrested for passing counterfeit bills.
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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Three men involved in a multi-million dollar scheme to defraud millions from Citizens Bank and Trust (CB&T) have been sentenced.

Former CB&T City Bank President, 57 year-old McDonald Hardin, was sentenced Monday to 60 months in prison, three years supervised release, and ordered to pay $1,437,651.07 in restitution to CB&T and $1,900,000 in restitution to Progressive Insurance after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

His co-conspirator, 55-year-old Steve Stokeling, was sentenced to 78 months in prison, five years supervised release and ordered to pay $28,832.15 in restitution to CB&T after pleading guilty to bank fraud.

This morning, 43-year-old Joseph Askew, was sentenced to 18 months in prison, one year supervised release and ordered to pay $1,437,651.07 in restitution to CB&T and $120,765.10 in restitution to Progressive Insurance after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. There is no parole in the federal system.

Beginning in February 2008 through August of 2010, Hardin, the City President and Senior Lending Officer at the CB&T Warner Robins branch, participated in a loan scheme designed to generate loan proceeds from fraudulent loans to Stokeling and Askew. Their friends, family members, and borrowers recruited by Stokeling and Askew, would sign loan documents without any expectation of receiving the loan proceeds. Hardin then approved the loans, and CB&T would issue checks. The loan money was distributed to various persons, including defendant Stokeling for his personal gain.

In all, CB&T was defrauded of $5,067,333.17.