U.S. Charges 2 Commerce Officers in Muni Case

Article excerpt

Two officers of Commerce Bancorp Inc.'s Pennsylvania bank were indicted Tuesday on charges of making favorable loans to a former Philadelphia treasurer in an effort to win business for Commerce.

Corruption indictments were handed down by U.S. Attorney Patrick L. Meehan against Glenn K. Holck, the president of the Cherry Hill, N.J., company, and Stephen M. Umbrell, the regional vice president of Commerce Bank in Philadelphia. Calls to their homes were not returned.

In all there were indictments against 12 individuals, including the former Philadelphia Treasurer, Corey Kemp, and Ronald A. White, an attorney. Two former J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. bankers were also indicted.

Mr. Holck and Mr. Umbrell are charged with conspiracy, eight counts of wire fraud, and one count of mail fraud.

Charles LeCroy, a former managing director of the Southeast regional office of JPMorgan Chase, and Anthony C. Snell, a former vice president of the company, are charged with two counts each of wire fraud. Denis Carlson, a senior vice president of the Philadelphia investment banking firm Janney Montgomery Scott, was charged with two counts of making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Mr. Holck and Mr. Umbrell could face a maximum of 185 years in prison each and a $2.5 million fine. Mr. LeCroy and Mr. Snell could face a maximum of 40 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

Mr. Holck and Mr. Umbrell are accused of making "favorable and otherwise unavailable loans to Mr. Kemp, for example a 100% financing deal on his house at a time when Mr. Kemp had poor credit, in exchange for a $30 million line of credit for the city of Philadelphia."

Commerce said in a statement that it had suspended two officers but did not identify them, saying only that the suspensions were related to the indictments. A spokesman declined to comment further. A JPMorgan Chase spokesman said the company was cooperating with the investigation by Mr. Meehan's office., but declined to say when the two indicted employees had left the company and what the circumstances were. A spokesman for Janney Montgomery Scott said only that the company is not a party to the investigation. …