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Trial set for March 21 in Altus bank fraud case

Lawton Constitution, January 12, 2016
Vic Schoonover, Special Correspondent

Oklahoma CITY - Two men accused of being responsible for the 2009 failure of the First State ?Bank ?in ?Altus will stand ?trial on federal ?bank ?fraud and other charges later this year.

A federal indictment was unsealed June 2, 2015, charging Paul Harold Doughty, 66, Edmond, and Fred Don Anderson, 66, Eagle Point, Ore. fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, false statements to banks and misapplication of bank funds in connection with First State Bank of Altus and various loan schemes, according to Sanford C. Coats, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.

According to Bob Troester, executive assistant U.S. attorney, the trial for Doughty and Anderson will start March 21 in Oklahoma City. Prosecutors will be Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chris M. Stephens and K. McKenzie Anderson.

Doughty is defended by Oklahoma City attorney Robert Wyatt. Anderson's attorney is Paul Lacy with the federal public defenders office ?in Oklahoma City,

Both Doughty and Anderson are free on their own recognizance, according to Troester. Such a bond is allowed, he said, when the court has no reason to believe the accused are either threats to society or escape risks. Both men were required to give up their passports and to inform the court about any changes in their residences or telephones.

After the FDIC closed the First State Bank, it was taken over by Herring Bank of Amarillo and Vernon, Texas. Before being moved to Altus, the First State Bank was located in the small farming community of Martha just north of Altus in Jackson County. Two brothers, Nelson and Harold Doughty, represented the family who originally started the state bank. Both men are now dead. Harold Doughty is the father of Paul Harold Doughty. Nelson Doughty is the father of Lee Doughty, Paul Harold's cousin, Lee Doughty, who works in another Altus bank now, remembers the years when his family was recognized for its service to Altus and Jackson County.

"With the exception of the death of my parents, the closing of the First State ?Bank was the worst experience in my life," Lee Doughty said.

The indictment against Doughty and Anderson, who will be tried together, charges the men committed fraud related to three alleged loan schemes:

  • A series of loans to finance a real estate development in Routt County, Colo.;
  • A series of "senior life settlement loans" from First State Bank to support an ?Altus aerospace company; and
  • A $2 million unauthorized loan from First State Bank to a company under Doughty and Anderson's control.

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