Callaway Bank defrauded of $1.2 million

Same bank was victim last year in cattle fraud

Aaron Matthew Payne, 39, of O’Fallon, the owner of three Columbia auto dealerships, pleaded guilty in federal court in Jefferson City Monday to defrauding Callaway Bank of $1.2 million.

Based in Fulton, Callaway Bank sustained the largest loss in the fraud scheme investigated by the FBI that totaled $1.7 million.

Last year the Callaway Bank lost about $2.7 million when it was defrauded by cattle fraud Ponzi schemes in which 28 other victims were defrauded of nearly $8 million.

In the recent auto dealership fraud, Payne obtained in excess of $1 million in lines of credit for these businesses through his agreements with several financial institutions.

By pleading guilty, Payne admitted that, beginning in March 2007, he engaged in a scheme to defraud several financial institutions. The government contends that Payne’s scheme, which involved financing for 118 vehicles, resulted in a total loss of $1,751,407.

U.S. attorneys contended The Callaway Bank sustained more than $1.2 million in losses related to 78 vehicles.

Other financial institutions that sustained losses as a result of Payne’s scheme included Missouri Credit Union, Dealer Services Corporation, Manheim Automotive Financial Services, Blue Ridge Bank & Trust, Boulevard Bank, Ford Motor Credit Company and Jefferson Bank of Missouri.

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