Comptroller's Office Is Investigating Bert Lance-Calhoun Bank Transactions: Possible Overdrafts and Check Kiting Are Said to Be Subject of Review
ATLANTA -- The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is examining possible irregular transactions involving former Office of Management and Budget Director Bert Lance and the Calhoun First National Bank.
The investigation began at least six weeks ago after an officer and two directors of Calhoun First visited the Comptroller's regional office in Atlanta to report potential irregularities, sources said.
The Comptroller's office has asked at least two north Georgia businessmen to report for questioning in the case.
J. Mack Robinson, president of three Atlanta companies and a director of First Atlanta Corp., and Lloyd Summer Jr., chairman and president of the National City Bankcorp. in Rome, Ga., said they were among those asked to provide documents.
Details on the questions raised were not disclosed by investigators. But sources in Calhoun said they include possible overdrafts and check kiting, which involves making use of fictitious balances by drawing against uncollected funds.
Examiners from the Comptroller's office have been working at Calhoun First off and on for more than six weeks, even on Wednesdays, when the bank is closed, sources said. Officer Took Early Retirement
On of the three bank, officers who went to the Comptroller's office, vice chairman and director Marvin L. Taylor, has since taken early retirement. Mr. Taylor became the bank's vice chairman last spring after he was replaced as president by Mr. Lance's son, David.
Calhoun First's board of directors voted to remove Mr. Taylor at its regular monthly meeting nov. 19, according to sources. Mr. Taylor remains a director of the bank.
Mr. Taylor visited the Comptroller's Atlanta office in mid-October. J.C. Maddox, a director and attorney for the bank, and Robert Morast, executive vice president of the bank, also went, acording to the sources.
Mr. Taylor, Mr. Maddox, and Mr. Morast declined to comment on the matter. A spokesman for the Comptroller's office declined to confirm or deny whether it was conducting an investigation.
Bert Lance has not been available for comment. David Lance confirmed that Mr. Taylor has taken early retirement, but he would not comment on whether the board voted to remove him. He also declined to comment on the investigation or confirm whether one existed.
But Mr. Robinson, who is First Atlanta's largest shareholder, and Mr. Summer said they had received a letter requiring them to appear at the Comptroller's office with certain documents relating to Calhoun First. Both declined to discuss what examiners wanted to see. Bound by Consent Decrees
Both Mr. Lance and Calhoun First are bound by 1978 consent decrees with the Comptroller's office and the Securities and Exchange Commission that prohibit certain actions without prior approval by the bank's board of directors.
"Calhoun will not delay any cash item or withhold any item from posting for the benefit of any insider," the bank's consent decree states, referring to bank officials. …