Ex-Head of Anaheim Bank to Begin Prison Term : Justice: Former chairman of Pacific Inland Bancorp defrauded a failed Northern California savings and loan.


Richard J. Meyer, former chairman and majority owner of an Anaheim bank, will start serving a five-year federal prison term in February for defrauding a failed Northern California savings and loan he owned.

Meyer, 58, had pleaded guilty 11 months ago to looting Cal America Savings & Loan in Walnut Creek in what prosecutors said was a “wide-ranging scheme” to turn the thrift into “his personal piggy bank.”

Meyer, who also operates a property management company in La Habra, could not be reached for comment.


“He’s trying to get his personal affairs in order before he starts serving his prison term on Feb. 14,” said his lawyer, William Goodman of San Francisco.

Until he was indicted more than two years ago, Meyer headed Pacific Inland Bancorp, which owns Pacific Inland Bank in Anaheim. He owned 23% of the holding company’s stock, said Jack Wauchope, the bank’s acting president, but that stake is smaller now.

Wauchope said Meyer is still the company’s single largest shareholder, but he said he does not know the exact amount of his stake.

Under a plea agreement, Meyer was sentenced Friday to five years in prison, followed by five years of probation. U.S. District Judge Eugene F. Lynch also ordered Meyer to perform 100 hours of community service.

Meyer had already paid the government $1.5 million to settle civil claims brought by regulators after Cal America failed in 1986, but Assistant U.S. Atty. John D. Lyons sought more restitution.

Since the plea bargain was reached, Lyons and Goodman have battled over whether Meyer could be forced to pay more. Meyer has asserted that he is $8 million in debt. The judge did not require him to make additional restitution.


Since 1987, investors and others have filed 53 lawsuits--34 in the past four years--against Pacific Inland Bank. In addition, state and federal regulators last spring issued cease-and-desist orders, the strongest enforcement action short of seizure, to prod the bank’s operators to raise more investor cash, improve operating revenue, curtail bad loans and halt a number of unsafe practices.

Wauchope, who took over in June, said he thinks the bank is making progress toward complying with the regulatory orders.