Four Officers Of Defunct Wilmette Bank Charged With Financial Fraud

John Cody. John Cody
John Cody is a veteran reporter for Newsradio 780.
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(CBS) — Four officers involved in a $70 million collapse of a defunct Wilmette bank have been charged with conspiracy financial fraud. WBBM’s John Cody has more.

A spokesman for Attorney General Lisa Madigan says the chairman of the Premier Bank in Wilmette is charged with theft by deception, a class X felony, as well as conspiracy.

“The Attorney General is alleging that Zulfikar Esmail engaged in a criminal shakedown scheme in which he solicited and demanded bribes in connection with applications that were made for loans and lines of credit,” said Spokesman Maura Possley.

Possley says Esmail, his wife Shamim, plus board directors Robert McCarty and William Brannin were running the bank when it folded, owing FDIC $64 million and the TARP bailout fund $7 million.