Bank fraudster sentenced to eight years

Published 11:00 pm Monday, September 30, 2013

A Norfolk man was sentenced Monday to eight years in prison for conspiracy and other charges that helped lead to the 2011 demise of the Bank of the Commonwealth.

Troy Brandon Woodard, 37, will also be under supervision for five years following his release from prison.

Evidence presented at his 10-week trial this spring showed Woodard conspired with his father, Edward J. Woodard, the CEO and former chairman of the board at the bank, and Stephen G. Fields, a former executive vice president and senior commercial loan officer, and troubled customers to defraud the bank.


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The elder Woodard lied to regulators and the board in order to lease the bank’s Suffolk branch on West Constance Road to a company solely owned by his son, then spent more than $3 million to renovate and construct the extravagant building on his son’s land, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

In addition, Brandon Woodard urged his father to request favors from two of the bank’s largest borrowers, Eric H. Menden and George P. Hranowskyj, formerly owners of large amounts of land in and around downtown Suffolk, in exchange for favorable treatment at the bank. Menden and Hranowskyj later, with Brandon Woodard’s help, obtained fraudulent bank loans and increases to existing bank loans to bail out Brandon Woodard’s failed investment properties and to purchase his personal condominium.

In addition, Brandon Woodard received thousands of dollars in illegal commissions for referring commercial loans to the bank, according to the press release.

Woodard was convicted of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and three counts of unlawful participation in a loan. The court ordered him to pay about $2.4 million in restitution to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and to forfeit more than $4 million in proceeds from the deals.