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Bank Vice President Stole to Finance Gambling Habit

17 January 2003

GULFPORT, Mississippi – As reported by the Mississippi Sun Herald: "Ralph `Sonny' Seymour, a former vice president at The Peoples Bank, could spend the next 30 years in federal prison for stealing more than $750,000 to finance his gambling habit.

"Seymour, 51, will be sentenced April 16 in U.S. District Court after pleading guilty Wednesday to bank fraud. During his plea hearing, he admitted being a compulsive gambler. He also could pay up to $1 million in fines.

"…According to court documents, Seymour obtained fictitious loans in the names of longtime bank customers and forged their signatures on loan disbursement checks. He added his initials and officer number below the forged signatures to receive the cash, documents said.

"…Authorities believe Seymour began defrauding the bank as early as 1997 and continued stealing money until December, when papers alleging the crime were filed in federal court…"

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