The former executive vice president of Jefferson Bank and Trust Co., a politically connected Prince George's County bank, was indicted by a federal grand jury yesterday on charges that he fraudulently obtained a $25,000 loan from the bank by making the loan in the name of a fictitious person.
Thomas C. Pulliam Jr., who was fired from Jefferson last year after bank officials discovered part of the loan in his account, was charged with conspiring to submit a fake loan application as well as making a false statement and false entry in bank records. The three-count indictment alleges that Pulliam used the money to help finance a private business deal to market satellite television antennas.
Pulliam's indictment resulted from investigations of the bank's operation by the FBI and federal and state bank examiners, who recently conducted extensive audits of the bank. Both regulatory agencies have sharply criticized Jefferson's lending policies and ordered the bank to correct the problems and come in compliance with federal and state banking laws.
Bank officials, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, have said they are correcting all deficiencies and that the bank is in good shape financially.
Jefferson, a small, commercial bank in Capitol Heights that opened in July 1980, was started by some of Prince George's most prominent businessmen and Republican political figures. Its board of directors and stockholders include County Executive Lawrence J. Hogan, his wife, Ilona, county planning board chairman Charles A. Dukes Jr., liquor board member Gerard F. Holcomb and Washington Bullets general manager Bob Ferry.
Pulliam, 37, who lives in Glenn Dale, has declined to comment publicly since his dismissal.
U.S. Attorney J. Frederick Motz, in announcing the indictment in Baltimore, said Pulliam is charged with conspiring with an associate, Gordon Butler, to use a fake name, Robert L. Baker, to obtain the $25,000 loan.
The indictment said Butler took the money to a Virginia bank and converted it into a $10,000 cashier's check payable to Pulliam. It was then deposited at Jefferson in the account of Pulliam's business. Butler, who was named as unindicted coconspirator but not charged, is a private detective based in Northern Virginia.
When Jefferson officials discovered the $10,000 in Pulliam's account, bank chairman Dukes said the FBI and bank regulatory officials were notified.
The indictment also alleges that Butler had earlier received a separate $15,000 loan in his real name from Jefferson and that Pulliam also invested that money in his business venture, Washington Microtech. The firm had been started by Pulliam and another man, Andre Michaud, who operates a video shop in Clinton.
Pulliam faces up to 12 years in prison and could be fined $20,000 if convicted of all three charges, which were presented to the grand jury by Assistant U.S. Attorney James P. Ulwick.