Fraud trial begins for former Bank of the Commonwealth executives

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Associated Press and 13News

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 6:18 AM

NORFOLK (AP) -- Opening statements are expected Thursday in the trial of four former Bank of the Commonwealth executives and a borrower on bank fraud charges.

Former bank president and CEO Edward J. Woodward Jr.; former vice presidents Simon Hounslow, Stephen Fields and Woodward's son, T. Brandon Woodard and developer Dwight Etheridge were indicted in July 2012 on charges of conspiring to commit bank fraud to the tune of $71 million.

The federal indictment says the former bank executives masked non-performing assets at the bank for their own personal benefit and to the detriment of the bank.

The bank failed in 2011.

Jury selection took two days; the trial is expected to last four to six weeks, according to the Virginian Pilot.

They face up to 30 years on each charge, if convicted.

AP-WF-07-18-12 1745GMT

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