The former president of Empire National Bank in Los Angeles was indicted Thursday on charges of tax evasion and misappropriating more than $48,000 in bank funds for his personal use.
William R. Ziegler, 49, is accused in a 29-count federal grand jury indictment of taking loan fee money from bank customers to pay his credit card bills, property taxes and fees to his personal accountant and attorney, then failing to report the money as income. Additional money was diverted when Ziegler created a fictitious loan application in the name of an actual customer of the bank, the indictment alleges.
The grand jury also indicted Los Angeles loan broker Rahmat Nehdar for allegedly submitting false loan documents to Empire National Bank to help clients obtain loans. Nehdar allegedly manufactured tax returns that exaggerated his clients’ income.
Ziegler of Carlsbad faces 145 years in prison and $7.25 million in fines if convicted on all charges. Nehdar, 44, of Pasadena faces 63 years in prison and a $7.6-million fine.
Empire National Bank is in FDIC receivership.