FBI Investigating 125 Cases Involving Banks

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TULSA (AP) - The FBI is conducting 125 fraud and embezzlement investigations in Oklahoma that involve 100 banks and savings and loan associations, 20 of which have failed, authorities say.

Ron Hoverson, FBI special agent in charge of Oklahoma, refused to name the banks and savings and loans or identify the officers or directors being investigated.

``I'm not going to get into that for obvious reasons,'' he told The Tulsa Tribune's Washington bureau.

Hoverson said that the absence of indictments from recent bank failures does not mean those institutions aren't under investigation.

``It takes time to make these cases, and you can be assured we are looking into every allegation we receive,'' he said.

Since Penn Square Bank failed in Oklahoma City on July 5, 1982, 45 banks have closed in Oklahoma, 16 in 1986 and eight so far this year.

Two federally insured savings and loan have been closed in the past three years.

FBI Director William Webster has told Congress his agency is investigating more than 200 bank failures nationally. He said the problem is an escalating one that is taxing agency manpower.

Webster, in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, said the number and complexity of major fraud and embezzlement matters under investigation by the FBI have increased dramatically in recent years. …