The U.S. Attorney’s Office didn’t mince words when it said Little Rock businessman Frank Whitbeck should serve his six-year sentence for mail fraud.
Whitbeck, who began serving his time last December, recently filed a motion to have his sentence in federal prison trimmed because he unearthed new evidence to show his alleged mistreatment by Metropolitan National Bank of Little Rock wasn’t an isolated incident.
Whitbeck pointed to Fayetteville developer Tom Terminella’s lawsuit claiming that he, too, was mistreated by the bank.
“Even assuming that the defendant could establish the truth of the Terminella claims, that is not a basis for changing the defendant’s sentence,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney George Vena in his motion for the government. “The defendant raided his regulated insurance company in order to [put] money into a business that was losing money.”
Vena also reminded U.S. District Judge William Wilson Jr. that Whitbeck could have received between 11 and 14 years in prison under sentencing guidelines for shifting money from his Signature Life Insurance Co. of America to his other company, Winrock Grass Farm. The receiver placed Signature’s loss at $3.8 million.
“The fact that the defendant attempted to find loans elsewhere but was not able to do so, suggests that defendant’s economic problems went far beyond his dealings with Metropolitan,” Vena said in the motion.
He asked that the sentence stand.
Whitbeck’s attorney, Jeff Rosenzweig of Little Rock, was unavailable for comment.
Wilson hasn’t made a ruling yet.