Bush Grants Pardon to Man Convicted in $25 Million Fraud Scheme

President Bush has granted a pardon to a Texan who pleaded guilty to fraud in one of the 1980's Savings and Loan scandals. He is David B. McCall, Jr., former lawyer and mayor of Plano, Texas.

David B. McCall Jr., who is battling cancer, served six months in prison for his role in fraudulent loans at the Plano Savings and Loan Association, which failed in the mid-1980s.

Our ears perked up when we heard fraud and "1980's savings and loan" because that was what Neil Bush had been involved in. We checked on Lexis to see if there was a connection between McCall and Neil Bush and there wasn't. But, what we learned was that McCall's fraud was big. From the October 11, 1996 Dallas Morning News:

Former Plano Mayor David B. McCall Jr., one of the most prominent civic leaders in Plano's 115-year history, on Thursday pleaded guilty to bank fraud, federal prosecutors said. Mr. McCall, 72, is the second former mayor of the city to admit guilt in the case involving more than $ 25 million in fraudulent loans made in the mid-1980s.

He has agreed to pay $ 379,000 restitution to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. He also faces a maximum $ 250,000 fine and a 5-year sentence - 10 years less than he might have faced had his case gone to trial Nov. 25 as had been expected. In a U.S. District Court in Beaumont, Mr. McCall, pleaded guilty to making, and causing to be made, false entries in the books and reports of the failed Plano Savings & Loan Association. The charge was in connection with a $ 3.1 million loan to McKinney - Highway 380 - Skyline Joint Venture, which used a tract of land in Murphy, Texas, as collateral on the loan in 1987.

Federal prosecutors said the land's value was inflated by about $ 1.4 million - substantially more than its worth. Mr. McCall knew about the inflated figure, officials said. "It's the government's position that it was Mr. McCall's intention to keep the information from the regulators so they wouldn't close the bank," said assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Savage, adding that the developers eventually defaulted on the loan. "These transactions alone may not have caused the failure of the bank but they contributed to the failure.

"If it had not been for this transaction, there is every possibility that the bank would not have lost as much money as it did," Mr. Savage said. "The reason that should be a federal offense is because the taxpayers ultimately paid the tab."

McCall pleaded guilty after a codefendant serving a seven year sentence agreed to testify against him:

Last month former Mayor Jack Harvard, 49, of Plano pleaded guilty to related charges and agreed to be a government witness against Mr. McCall. His sentencing was postponed until after Mr. McCall's trial....Mr. Harvard, who was mayor of Plano from 1982 to 1990, could get up to two years in federal prison and be fined up to $ 250,000. He has already been sentenced to seven years in federal prison and been fined $ 973,309 after being convicted last year of breaking federal banking laws while he was chairman of Willow Bend National Bank.

Mr. Harvard and Mr. McCall were indicted in August 1995, along with three other men, on federal bank fraud charges involving a series of loans totaling more than $ 25 million. The 11-count indictment alleged that the defendants created a web of transactions designed to transfer troublesome loans from one institution to another. The purpose, authorities say, was to hide difficulties from bank examiners and relieve borrowers of the need to repay the loans. In September, two real estate brokers pleaded guilty to bank fraud in connection with the same case.

We're still curious as to why this guy deserved a pardon.

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