KATV Owner Likes the Company Perks
Update: Below is the article I should have posted this morning. Thought i did BUT anyway, this story is from Friday, May 6, 2005.
Source: Washington Post On Feb. 4, 2003, John Koloszar, the personal driver and bodyguard for Joe L. Allbritton, drove off the Euro Motorcars lot in Bethesda in a sparkling new, emerald green Mercedes sedan, fully loaded. The S430, with a V-8 engine and all-wheel drive and tan interior, had 12 miles on it. The price tag: $91,444.
According to sources, Koloszar drove Allbritton's new ride to the 17th Street NW headquarters of Riggs Bank and presented the invoice to David Eisner, a manager in accounts payable. Eisner -- a longtime Riggs employee who was accustomed to cutting checks for items purchased by the Allbritton family for the bank -- refused to authorize payment.
Eisner was backed up by bank Chief Financial Officer Steven T. Tamburo: Allbritton was not a bank employee; it wasn't company policy to provide cars for directors, and the automobile had not been bought through normal channels.
Then Koloszar asked the president of the bank, Lawrence I. Hebert, to authorize payment.
Hebert did. And Allbritton had his green Mercedes, paid for by the shareholders of Riggs.
At the time, Allbritton was a board member but not a Riggs employee. He had resigned as chief executive two years earlier, handing over management to his son, Robert, and his longtime business lieutenant, Hebert.
In Allbritton's years at Riggs, even as he began to relinquish control, he often used the bank to pay for expensive items and services from which he and his family benefited, according to sources with direct knowledge and other people familiar with an ongoing Department of Justice investigation into use of the bank's assets. The sources, and vehicle ownership records, also confirmed how payment was obtained for the Mercedes. MORE
This story is from July of last year.
Source: Washington Post The bank is under investigation by federal examiners and law enforcement officials, as well as by at least three congressional committees, for years-long violations of anti-money-laundering rules. Of particular interest is the embassy division, especially transactions in hundreds of accounts associated with Saudi Arabia, Equatorial Guinea and Pinochet.
Two top bank regulators -- the Federal Reserve Board and the Treasury Department's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency -- recently began a targeted review of Joe Allbritton's activities at the bank and its holding company, Riggs National Corp., to see if he violated any laws and whether any civil fines or criminal referrals to the Department of Justice should be made, government sources familiar with the investigation said.
At issue is whether Allbritton was an active participant in the daily operations of the bank even though he has not been a director or executive of the bank for three years, the sources said. If regulators determine he was an active participant, then he could face fines or other sanctions, government sources said.
Allbritton said yesterday he has not been named a target of a criminal probe.
Read complete article HERE.