The Bank That Was Small Enough To Jail

If you’ve been losing faith in our judicial system, I have good news.

Today I learned that one bank was actually charged with fraud in conjunction with the mortgage scandals of 2008.  Abacus Federal Savings Bank was founded in 1984 to serve the Chinese-American community in New York City.  In May, 2012, the bank and 19 employees were indicted by New York prosecutors for mortgage fraud.  The bank’s defense was it had found the fraud itself, fired the employee, and reported the problem to regulators.   Nevertheless, charges were filed anyway.

The Bank,  its former Chief Credit Officer, and its former loan supervisor, were all acquitted in a jury trial in New York Supreme Court on June 3 and 4, 2015.  On September 9, 2015, the Court, at the recommendation of the New York prosecutors themselves, dismissed all remaining charges ( ).

This case is the subject of a documentary film, Abacus: Small Enough To Jail by Steve James, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2016.  The film’s website is .

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *