Monday, September 30, 2013

U.S. case against CommunityOne comes to an end

Federal prosecutors in Charlotte have formally dismissed charges against CommunityOne Bank, the bank announced Monday, another milestone in the bank's recovery over the past two years.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of North Carolina had originally accused the Asheboro bank of not having a strong enough anti-money laundering program after a customer allegedly operated a Ponzi scheme using accounts at the bank. In 2011, the U.S. Attorney's Office agreed to defer prosecution provided that CommunityOne paid $400,000 toward victims of the scheme and beefed up its protections.

That agreement was reached just as the bank was working on a $310 million recapitalization and merger with Bank of Granite to save both banks.

Executives at the combined bank have spent the two years since then working to bring it back to health. Bank of Granite was released from its consent order with federal regulators in March, and the CommunityOne subsidiary got out from its consent order in June. That enabled their merger to be complete.

CommunityOne now has 52 branches across the Piedmont and mountains of North Carolina.