THOUSAND OAKS : 2 Officers of Failed Bank Are Arraigned

Two officers of a defunct Thousand Oaks bank were arraigned Monday in U.S. District Court in connection with a 1989 scheme to keep their failing bank open so they would not lose millions of dollars they had invested.

Phillip L. Chase, 51, of Westlake and Olen B. Phillips, 53, of Oak View pleaded not guilty to charges they made false statements to influence the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., misused bank funds and made false entries on bank records. Their trial is set to begin July 20, said Assistant U.S. Atty. Brent Whittlesey in Los Angeles.

On May 5, a federal grand jury charged Chase and Phillips with trying to keep regulators from seizing the United Community Bank of Thousand Oaks by loaning $300,000 to them themselves through "straw borrowers," then buying more bank stock with the loans.

The grand jury's 11-count indictment also charged the two men with committing fraud by understating their liabilities by $1 million each when applying for personal loans at a Pasadena bank.

Chase was the chairman and largest stockholder of United Community Bank. Phillips was a board members and the second-largest investor.

State and federal regulators seized the 8-year-old United Community Bank in December, 1989, a year after its subsidiary, Westlake Thrift & Loan of Westlake Village, closed its doors.

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