On Thursday, the Southern District of New York U.S. attorney’s office announced that Stephen Calk, the CEO of a Chicago bank, has been indicted for approving $16 million in loans to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in exchange for a position in the White House. Calk is expected to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman this afternoon.
Calk was allegedly after a top government post, specifically the position of Secretary of the Army.
“As alleged, Stephen M. Calk abused the power entrusted to him as the top official of a federally insured bank by approving millions of dollars in high-risk loans in an effort to secure a personal benefit, namely an appointment as Secretary of the Army or another similarly high-level position in the incoming presidential administration,” said U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss.
“Calk’s alleged attempt to obtain such an appointment was unsuccessful, and the loans he approved were ultimately downgraded by the bank’s primary regulator. Thanks to the outstanding work of the FBI and FDIC OIG, Calk’s alleged corrupt scheme has now resulted in a federal criminal charge.”
FBI Assistant Director William Sweeney Jr. asserted that the Federal Savings Bank of Chicago CEO took great measures to “avoid banking violations in an attempt to secure a senior position in a presidential administration.”
“He curried favor with an influential Borrower, exploited his position as CEO of the Bank and the Holding Company, and exercised control over the Bank and the Borrower’s loans, intentionally turning his back on the many red flags posted along the way. His attempt at petitioning for political favors was unsuccessful in more ways than one – he didn’t get the job he wanted, and he compromised the one he had.”