Edwin T. McBirney III, former president and chairman of the board of Sunbelt Savings Association, has agreed to plead guilty to fraud charges and filing a false income return, Justice Department officials announced Friday.
Attorney General Dick Thornburgh said that federal prosecutors had dealt "a one-two punch to the savings and loans crooks this week.""McBirney's agreement to plead guilty, coupled with the conviction of Don Dixon, caps a year of relentless and unprecedented pressure on thrift thieves," Thornburgh said in Washington.
Dixon, the former owner of Vernon Savings and Loan, was convicted Thursday on 23 counts of a 38-count federal indictment for misusing thrift funds on a California beach home where he hosted parties with prostitutes.
McBirney agreed to plead guilty to a four-count superseding criminal information, which included one bank fraud count from the indictment that was returned against him last July.
McBirney also pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false tax return on behalf of Amchase Financial Corp..
McBirney could face a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine of $1 million, federal officials said.
McBirney also agreed to pay $7.5 million in restitution and entered into a civil settlement with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for $8.5 million, they said.
- The House Intelligence Committee, meanwhile, said it could find no evidence of CIA involvement in the savings and loan scandal.
Following a preliminary inquiry into the matter at the request of the House Banking Committee, Intelligence Committee Chairman Anthony Beilenson, D-Calif., reported Friday that the panel would not undertake a more formal investigation.
The subcommittee wanted Beilenson's panel to examine reports that people connected with the CIA had been involved in the failure of several savings and loan institutions.
Beilenson said the committee determined that evidence would not support conclusions that people linked to the CIA used connections to obtain fraudulent loans to support covert operations Congress would not fund.