Like many heads of banks during the financial crisis, Charles Antonucci, the CEO of Park Avenue Bank, a small community bank with four branches in Manhattan and Brooklyn, publicly boasted that his institution did not need TARP money. “I don’t need TARP money,” he told a website in 2008. But actually, he really did.
Federal investigators said Antonucci tried to fraudulently obtain $11.4 million from the Treasury Department’s Troubled Assets Relief Program by lying about the bank’s capital levels in its November 2008 application for bailout funds. He told regulators that he had personally invested $6.5 million to boost the bank’s capital, the complaint said, even though the investment was made with the bank’s own funds through an “elaborate round-trip loan transaction” devised by Antonucci.
Prosecutors said he wanted the money to, among other things, “live a lavish lifestyle” that included flying to the Super Bowl. Now he has been arrested, and was last spotted at his bail hearing in the decidedly un-lavish outfit consisting of “a red St. John’s University hooded sweatshirt, blue track pants and brown loafers,” according to Dow Jones.