Ark. Bank Files Insurance Claim After Employee Allegedly Steals $2.1M

On July 8, Conway-based Home BancShares filed a notice with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that said a senior officer at one of its banks embezzled $2.1 million. John Allison, Home BancShares’ chairman and CEO, later declined to name the employee, saying he feared being sued.

Home BancShares’ SEC filing said the company has made a claim with its insurance company over the loss. The company said it likely would absorb in the second quarter a $100,000 deductible.

Both the FBI and the U.S. attorney’s office are investigating the alleged theft of $2.1 million from a subsidiary of Home BancShares Inc., but neither agency is saying much about it.

Steve Frazier, a spokesman for the FBI’s Little Rock field office, said that the alleged theft affected Twin City Bank, a chain with 17 locations throughout central Arkansas. However, Frazier declined to offer any specifics about the supposed theft, saying any information would be passed along to U.S. Attorney Jane Duke.

“The FBI will be investigating these allegations to determine whether it is a violation of federal law,” Frazier said.

Duke said she could not comment on any possible grand jury investigation into the case. She also said it would be “premature and speculative” to discuss any specifics surrounding the alleged theft.

“I can say that our office is working jointly with the FBI to fully investigate this matter,” Duke said.

Bob Birch, president and CEO of Twin City Bank, declined to identify the fired employee or the circumstances surrounding the theft. Twin City first opened in North Little Rock in 1904.

Home BancShares’ other banks also include First State Bank of Conway, Community Bank, Bank of Mountain View, Centennial Bank and Marine Bank in southern Florida. Those banks have more than 50 locations among them, according to the company’s annual report. The company reported a net income of $20.4 million last year and has more than 600 employees.

Shares in Home BancShares fell $1.03 in trading July 9 to close at $21.67, a 4.5 percent drop.