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NR 2007-107
Contact: Dean DeBuck
(202) 874-5770

OCC Will Hold Hearing on Charges Against Carlos Loumiet, Esq.; Agency Seeks Cease and Desist Order and Civil Money Penalty

WASHINGTON — The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today announced a public hearing before an Administrative Law Judge beginning Tuesday, October 9, 2007, concerning an enforcement proceeding against Carlos Loumiet, Esq., former counsel for the failed Hamilton Bank, N.A., Miami, Florida.

The OCC is seeking a cease and desist order that would bar Mr. Loumiet from providing or participating in the provision of legal or consulting services to any insured depository institution, or serving as counsel for such an institution. The order would also require Mr. Loumiet to disclose a copy of the order to any institution-affiliated parties who retain him to provide legal or consulting services.

The agency also seeks the assessment of a $250,000 civil money penalty against Mr. Loumiet.

The OCC has charged Mr. Loumiet with concealing the crimes of the bank's chairman, CEO, and CFO whom Mr. Loumiet and his former law firm represented while they purported to represent the bank. The officers orchestrated unlawful transactions in order to hide the bank's losses resulting from the Russian debt crisis of 1998. The officers misled the bank's external auditor, federal regulators and public investors in the bank's holding company. The officers have been sentenced to prison for perpetrating and later misrepresenting the unlawful transactions.

In 2000, the bank and holding company retained Mr. Loumiet and his former law firm to investigate the unlawful transactions, and the credibility of the bank's officers. The OCC has charged that in two reports co-authored by Mr. Loumiet and his partner at his former law firm, Mr. Loumiet protected the bank officers by making materially false and misleading assertions, and by suppressing material evidence. Following the reports, the bank officers steered additional business to Mr. Loumiet and his former law firm. The law firm collected $1.16 million in fees from the bank and the holding company during 2001-02, and Mr. Loumiet received a share of these fees.

The OCC closed the bank in 2002 and named the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver in order to stem losses to the FDIC Bank Insurance Fund. The bank cost the insurance fund approximately $127 million, net of recoveries. Public shareholders lost their entire investment.

The hearing will commence at 9 a.m. in Courtroom 22 of the Department of Justice Executive Office of Immigration Review, 333 S. Miami Ave., 7th floor, Miami, FL. OCC administrative hearings are open to the public as required by federal law.

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