Arkansas Business this weeks breaks news of a potentially devasting blow to First Southern Bank of Batesville. It may have bought $22 million worth of fraudulent rural improvement district bonds, an amount sufficient to just about wipe out its equity capital. The bank may be looking for a merger partner.
Unavailable for comment: Kevin Lewis, a Searcy lawyer with a million-dollar Chenal Valley home who, the article says, sold the bank the bonds. His phones have been disconnected.
More to come: First Southern may not have been the only bank to buy dubious bonds.