Former Meadville CEO sentenced to prison

Published 12:08 am Wednesday, July 17, 2013

JACKSON — A former Meadville bank CEO was sentenced to serve six-and-a-half years in prison and to pay more than a million dollars restitution Tuesday for bank fraud and money laundering.

Larry Barnette Hill, 58, was formerly the chief executive officer of People’s Bank of the South. The restitution he must pay — totaling $1,243,703 — must be made to the bank.

Hill was also sentenced in federal court to five years supervised release after prison.

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U.S. prosecutors alleged that from 2004 until 2012 Hill misappropriated money from the bank’s payroll clearing account and deposited it in accounts controlled by his family members.

Prosecutors said Hill likewise had a shell bank account that was used to direct the funds to himself.

The former CEO also used the bank’s credit cards for personal expenses, and issued checks in the bank’s name for his own purposes — including to make payments on a personal loan at another bank.

Hill hid the fraud by making false entries in the bank’s ledger that made the misappropriations appear to be bank expenses. He likewise inflated the bank’s monthly budgets to conceal the embezzlement.

Hill pleaded guilty to the charges against him in April.

He could have received a maximum of 30 years prison and a $1 million fine for bank fraud and a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine for money laundering.

People’s Bank of the South announced in late June that it would be acquired by and merge with United Mississippi Bank, which is headquartered in Natchez.