Bentley Receiver Continues to go After Kansas Bank Kickbacks
PHILADELPHIA - As Robert Bentley begins his nearly five year sentence for fraud charges, a Kansas bank is still being pursued for kickbacks involving his defunct firm. Through his firms, Bentley Financial Services and Entrust Group, Bentley sold fake certificates of deposits from 1994 to October to 2001 to hundreds of credit unions, banks and individuals. Collectively, they invested more than $370 million in the CDs. Bentley pled guilty to mail fraud and bank bribery charges, began serving a 55-month sentence on Dec. 6 and was ordered to pay investors back $24 million. So far, Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads LLP, the court-appointed receiver, has returned $339 million back to claimants. Meanwhile, the receiver said it has been in litigation with Salina, Kan.-based Sunflower Bank, N.A. since January 2003 over $2.5 million stemming from Bentley's bribery and kickback scheme with Sunflower's former investment vice-president Monty Parker. According to an SEC complaint, Bentley promised Parker that if he would purchase bonds for Sunflower Bank through Bentley Financial, he would kick back one-third of Bentley Financial's commissions to Parker. Bentley sold approximately $185 million in bonds to Sunflower Bank, and he "corruptly paid" to Parker approximately one third of the commissions received by Bentley Financial on such bond purchases totaling approximately $1 million. The funds have been held in reserve for disbursement once the Sunflower Bank claim is resolved, the receiver said.