Latrobe bank loses $182K in check scheme

Alex Nixon
| Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Commercial National Financial Corp.'s earnings in the third quarter were hurt by one-time items, including a counterfeit foreign check scheme by “local parties” that cost the Latrobe bank $182,000.

The parent of Commercial Bank & Trust of Pennsylvania said in its earning statement on Monday that “a series of counterfeit non-U.S./foreign check deposits was recorded” in the July-September quarter. The bank paid an additional $5,000 in legal fees related to the fraud.

“Full recovery on this wire fraud recognition and all associated legal costs is being aggressively pursued by corporate legal counsel against the local parties responsible for this incident,” CEO Gregg Hunter said in the statement.

Hunter and Thomas Watters, the bank's chief financial officer, could not be reached for comment.

Commercial National, which has 10 branches in Westmoreland County, earned $1.07 million, or 38 cents a share, in the July-September quarter, down from $1.88 million, or 65 cents a share, in the same quarter the year before.

Also among one-time charges was $35,000 the bank paid to settle a lawsuit over the compliance of its automated teller machines with federal disability-access requirements.

In August, Commercial National was ranked No. 1 for profitability and soundness for banks in Pennsylvania with less than $1 billion in assets, according to Bank Director magazine.

In June, the bank's board of directors voted to delist the bank's stock from the Nasdaq exchange and pull the shares registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The stock trades on the OTCQB Marketplace under the symbol CNAF. The change was expected to save the bank about $250,000 a year in accounting, legal and administrative costs.

Alex Nixon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7928 or anixon@tribweb.com.

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