A Lubbock business man is free of all charges. On Monday, a federal judge overturned a guilty verdict and acquitted Monte Hasie of bank fraud. The 69-year-old and three others were accused of conspiring to defraud First State Bank and State National Bank of approximately $2.5 million from October 1999 through April 2001. Last summer, a jury found Hasie guilty on several counts. NewsChannel 11's Jennifer Vogel spoke with Hasie just hours after learning he was acquitted of all charges.
Most people know Monte Hasie for the 22 years he spent in public service; serving on the state board of education and as an LISD trustee. But two years ago, Hasie's name was made public in a bank fraud scheme. For the past three years, he has been trying to prove his innocence.
"I'm 69-years-old, I've tried to do the right things. Of course I've done things wrong, but I don't think any of it was illegal." It started back in 2003 when Monte and three others were investigated for bank fraud. Hasie says his only involvement was doing his job, selling stocks. "Any stockbroker in town would've did what I did, I just took an order and executed it for somebody that had a lot of money."
But that move sent Hasie and the others into court and his name in the headlines for fraud. "I lost my job. It effected my son's business too, he's my partner and it effected our business and it was a difficult time. I was falling back on my savings and retirement plans over this time."
A grand jury indicted Hasie on October 20th 2004. Just weeks later, he pleaded not guilty. Then in June 2005 the trial began. Seven days later, a jury convicted Hasie of fraud. His lawyer's appealed the verdict, but a judge denied the request. Months later, the court asked for more information on Hasie's involvement. It was that information that ultimately changed one man's fate. "I was acquitted on all charges and that's what I was hoping for."
Hasie never had to spend time in jail. "Just being accused was a hard experience." But he has spent the last three years learning from this experience. "I learned from my mother that God and I can handle whatever happens."
Now that Hasie is free of all charges, he tells us his first line of business is to play a round of golf. NewsChannel 11 tried contacting federal Judge Sam Cummings who signed the order of acquittal, but he would not talk to the media about his ruling. The order says he made his decision because of evidence and attorney arguments.
Three others have been charged in this bank fraud case. Frank and Rick Thompson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and a jury found Tom Darden guilty of money laundering and other charges.
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