You caught me red handed. Oooops
You caught me red handed. Oooops
UPDATE-Which former Sonoma Valley Bank Director has been going around telling tales of a disgruntled former insider or borrower who was cut off as being the instigator for Madjlessi's appearance as a bank loan relationship? Nice try.///////

Remember all of the huffing and puffing Page, a former Director of Sonoma Valley Bank, did when his and other Directors' veracity exemplified in a post failure public opinion letter was proferred had failed to fool an investigative expose' by the Press Democrat? (see Page's letter of complaint to the Press Democrat Editor below)

If you are a paying customer of the fish wrap aka the Sonoma Index-Tribune you too can view the self incrimination evident at the C-Suite level of Sonoma Valley Bank, with a healthy assist from Bill Lynch, it was clearly reported in the articles below that Mel Switzer said that everybody at the bank was involved in the approval process for ALL of Madjlessi's/straw loans in soup to nuts fashion.

That is a fact which is confirmed by the FDIC's claims in their $12 million civil lawsuit against Switzer, Cutting and Melland filed last August and posted previously on the Patch. In that suit, THE FDIC says they have established that ALL BOARD MEMBERS WERE PRESENT AT ALL RELEVANT BOARD LOAN COMMITTEE APPROVAL MEETINGS. You can be certain that they have their ducks in a row.

"... 1.)  Sonoma Valley Bank shutdown
Publish Date: August 27, 2010
Word Count: 1141
Document ID: 131DECE3AD2288F0

Why does a business that dominates its primary area in market share, has outstanding liquidity and is making a profit fail? The answer is as complicated as the banking regulations themselves.

Sonoma Valley Bank, as of Friday, Aug. 20, ceased to exist because the California Department of Financial Institutions pulled its charter and appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver.

Gordon Talbot, senior ombudsman for the FDIC, gave the following official..."   


"...4.)  Feds shut Sonoma Valley Bank
Publish Date: August 24, 2010
Word Count: 1199
Document ID: 131CFE8A160B20A0

Opened in June of 1988 by Sonoma Valley business leaders to provide banking services tailored to the local community, Sonoma Valley Bank is no more. It was closed Friday afternoon by the California Department of Financial Institutions, which appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver.

The three branches of Sonoma Val ley Bank reopened Saturday as branches of Westamerica Bank.

Depositors of Sonoma Valley Bank will automatically become depositors of..."

So, isn't it an inexcusable act that this Board of Directors signed off on President Cutting's public letter following Sonoma Valley Bank's failure that was proffered with the sole intention of misleading the public?

"...2.)  A message from the board of Sonoma Valley Bank

Publish Date: August 27, 2010
Word Count: 416
Document ID: 131DECE3F77F9888

A week ago today, Sonoma lost one of its leading community members - Sonoma Valley Bank.

It was 22-years-old and far too young for its unt imely and unnecessary demise. It carried the reputation of being one of the most generous, helpful, caring and supportive institutions in town.

The employees, management and we, the board, were i n shock when the FDIC arrived as receivers on Friday, Aug. 20.

The executive team and the board had been working for eight months to raise the ..."

The final arrogant and fallacious attempt to mislead from someone who apparently attended these Board Loan Committee loan approval meetings came from Bank Director Steve Page in a letter to the editor in response to the investigative efforts by the pre- Darius Anderson Press Democrat reporter, Nathan Halverson and his coverage that first blew the lid off of this deception and bank fraud.

"...Bank's downfall

EDITOR: I am a former director of Sonoma Valley Bank. The board and management of that institution are as fine a group of individuals and community leaders as I could ever hope to be associated with.

The implication in your Sunday article (“Sonoma bank's downfall”) that any of this group might be the subject of criminal investigation is based on very thin gruel. Instead, you dignify the ravings of a former bank director and a malcontent serial blogger who had unsuccessfully sought employment at the bank. Both have personal axes to grind. When this alleged investigation eventually proves to be a) nonexistent or b) baseless, I trust you will reserve similar front page space in a Sunday edition to share that news.


Sonoma ..."

Clearly, he was there and knew much more than he revealed in this purposeful attempt to mislead the public. Had the Board bothered to report Melland's acceptance of the bribe that they fired him for taking, it would have led to the discovery of all they had hoped to hide from regulators. 

Remember, it was Federal Bankruptcy Judge Alan Jaroslovsky who came to the conclusion in a totally separate case, 10MAPLELLC/Frieberg bankruptcy, that SONOMA VALLEY BANKERS and Freiberg committed fraudulent practices that "attempted to evade detection by bank examiners..."

Freiberg's family had been founding shareholders during the bank's formation.

Looks to have been business as usual for Sonoma Valley Bank.


Comment940MoreComments+ Leave a CommentShow me earlier commentshowiewine April 26, 2014 at 10:59 AM"MASSIVE BANK FRAUD SCHEME..." is how SigTarp characterized "thin gruel." http://www.sigtarp.gov/Press%20Releases/Sonoma_Indictments_Press_Release.pdf1  Recommend  ReplyDeletehowiewine April 26, 2014 at 02:27 PMFDIC v Switzer, Cutting and Melland- Case management conference May 8 Cases progressing The squeeze is on ! Recommend  ReplyDeletehowiewine April 26, 2014 at 03:35 PMhttp://sonomavalley.patch.com/groups/opinion/p/its-not-difficult-busy-on-race-days Recommend  ReplyDeletehowiewine April 30, 2014 at 10:30 PMHere are the 2 home loans Sonoma Valley Bank made to Melland including one after he was fired for taking a bribe.//////////////////// "TRUST DEED 2010033950 Recording Date: 04/23/2010 01:39:00 PM Book Page: Grantor: MELLAND BRIAN SCOTT, MELLAND WENDY LEE Grantee: SONOMA VALLEY BANK Number Pages: 10 TRUST DEED 2010034615 Recording Date: 04/27/2010 08:26:00 AM Book Page: Grantor: MELLAND BRIAN SCOTT, MELLAND WENDY LEE Grantee: SONOMA VALLEY BANK Number Pages: 10" https://crarecords.sonomacounty.ca.gov/recorder/eagleweb/docSearchResults.jsp?searchId=5
howiewine May 08, 2014 at 12:23 AM
Looks like the Press Democrat did save more front page space as Page requested. Instead of proving the SVB Board innocent however, we see only the crony coverup perpetrated by the bank board of which he was a member. Like apples? How 'bout them apples?
Umberto Smith May 09, 2014 at 03:40 PM
Well you should at least be happy they have at least one fall guy...It would be great if the entire crew could get spanked but at least one of them is gonna flogged with gusto :)
howiewine May 10, 2014 at 10:23 AM
The Board all sat around the table deciding Melland's fate after becoming aware of his accepting a bribe and rather than report it as Federal banking laws (anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism laws) require the BOARD OF DIRECTORS purposely chose to cover it up. Why? Because if they would have reported it regulators would have discovered their malfeasance all the earlier and it would have resulted in certain closure. But they chose to lie and obfuscate. Perhaps a Director felt responsible for bringing Madjlessi in in the first place and couldn't face his responsibilities. Wink, wink.


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