Lubbock Businessman Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To Commit Money Laundering - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/8/07

Lubbock Businessman Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To Commit Money Laundering

A well-known Lubbock businessman could face up to five years in prison.

Thursday in federal court, Kim Morris pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering. 

Morris is probably most recognized as the former owner of what used to be the West Texas Amphitheater along East Broadway Street.

In 2004, documents filed in the US Bankruptcy Court showed the amphitheater filed for Chapter 11, but court documents show Morris' money problems started well before he filed for bankruptcy.

In 2002, Morris was in need of some fast cash. Court documents show that's when Morris asked a friend and long-time business partner for a loan. That friend, who has not been charged, allegedly agreed to give Morris the $70,000 loan.

The problem lies in where that money would come from. The friend requested the loan from First National Bank of Lubbock where Morris served on both the board of directors and the loan committee.

That loan was approved and the money was turned over to Morris.

Court documents claim that First National Bank of Lubbock's president knew about the insider illegal loan that would end up costing the bank $69,000.

Thursday, Morris pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering. His sentencing will come at a later date, but his plea deal states he could serve up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

In addition, Morris has already agreed to pay back restitution of $69,000. Morris agrees he will never seek nor accept employment with another financial institution for the rest of his life. 

NewsChannel 11 was able to get a hold of Morris by phone Friday, but he refused to comment.

The two other men involved in this story have not been sentenced and neither has been charged as an investigation is ongoing.

You might remember this is not the first illegal incident involving First National Bank of Lubbock. Several employees and board directors including Morris were either fined or charged for various illegal bank practices last July.

The bank is now under new management and the name has been changed to My Lubbock Bank.

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