Former bank vice president accused of using a family member's po - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Former bank vice president accused of using a family member's power of attorney to borrow money

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A former bank vice president allegedly used a family member's power of attorney to borrow nearly a half-million dollars in his name, U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld II said.

John P. Aman, 60, of Clarksburg, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Clarksburg on 11 counts of bank fraud. Aman had at one time worked at Huntington and West Union banks.

Investigators allege Aman abused his power of attorney and used his position at the two banks to bypass established policies and regulations designed to prevent questionable loans from being approved and misrepresented the purpose of the loans. He also allegedly pledged stock that same family member owned as collateral on a loan he obtained from Freedom Bank. When the required payments weren't made the stock was sold to satisfy the debt to Freedom Bank, they said.

The family member in whose name the loans were taken out died in 2011 at the age of 89, Ihlenfeld added.

"A power of attorney can be a valuable tool but it can also be abused if entrusted to the wrong person," Ihlenfeld said. "Unfortunately, older West Virginians are oftentimes on the wrong end of schemes involving the fraudulent use of these very powerful documents."

Aman could face up to 30 years in prison on each of the 11 counts plus a fine of up to $1 million. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant, he said.

Ihlenfeld's office also is seeking a $372,164 judgment against Aman.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew R. Cogar.