After treating the company he founded in 1978 as a personal piggy bank, former Gold Bank President and CEO Michael Gullion pleaded guilty to two counts of embezzlement in a U.S. District Court in Topeka, Kan., on Feb 27.

In 2004 the SEC filed a complaint against Gullion in a Kansas district court, alleging he misapplied $4.4 million in Gold Bank funds for his personal benefit. The SEC alleged that Gullion circumvented the company’s internal controls and falsified its books and records, resulting in material misstatements of the bank’s operating results. Gold Bank, a subsidiary of Gold Banc Corp., operates branches in Florida, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

According to court documents, the company’s stock dropped 10 percent the day after it announced Gullion’s misconduct and his termination from the company. The company later reached a restitution agreement with Gullion.

“As a result of our vigorous negotiations, we received a total of $3.5 million in restitution payments in 2003, which offset the adverse effect on our income in 2002 and 2001,” said Malcolm M. Aslin, Gold Banc’s President and CEO in a 2004 press release.

Gullion could face up to a 30-year prison sentence.