A senior lending officer at Georgia-based Synovus Financial Corp. has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $1 million, the U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Georgia announced Thursday.
John D. Evans, a senior vice president of commercial lending at Synovus subsidiary Columbus Bank & Trust, waived indictment in favor of pleading guilty Wednesday to an eight-count criminal information accusing him of bank fraud and evading federal taxes. U.S. District Judge Clay Land of the Middle District of Georgia in Columbus presided over the plea.
Evans remains free on an unsecured $10,00 bond, pending sentencing next April. His defense counsel, Columbus attorney Mark Post, declined to comment.
For five years, from 2013-2017, Evans created bank checks to make multiple $50,000 withdrawals from reserve funds housed in the bank account of Fourth Quarter Properties Inc., according to the criminal information. Fourth Quarter Properties is a real estate development company based in Newnan. He ultimately took $1,046,602.
Evans then deposited funds siphoned from Fourth Quarter Properties into his personal bank account, the information said. U.S. Attorney Charles Peeler said Evans used the funds to pay personal living expenses, including car payments, property taxes, vacation expenses and jewelry purchases.
Evans pleaded guilty to four counts of bank fraud and four counts of tax evasion stemming from his failure to report and pay more than $220,000 in taxes on the stolen funds he used to augment his bank income, the information said.