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Former InterFirst Director To Plead Guilty To Bank Fraud

June 17, 1988

DALLAS (AP) _ Former bank director Edwin L. Cox Jr. said Thursday he had agreed to plead guilty to a federal bank fraud charge stemming from $80 million in loans he had received from his bank several years ago.

Cox issued a statement saying he had agreed to plead guilty to a charge that he submitted false information to InterFirst Bank of Dallas as part of the administration of loans he had with the bank.

Cited in the charges were the $80 million in loans, plus interest, that Cox repaid to InterFirst in October 1987.

U.S. Attorney Marvin Collins said a felony information filed Thursday in Dallas charged Cox with bank fraud.

Bruce Genderson, an attorney for Cox, said Cox would enter the plea June 24. A sentencing date will be set then.

″In breaking the law, I have made a serious mistake,″ Cox said in his statement. ″I have hurt my wife and children, our many loyal friends, and employees....I am truly sorry that I have let all these people down.″

Collins said collateral reports filed for continuation of the loans indicated more than 20,000 head of cattle as collateral when there actually were fewer than 5,000.

Maximum punishment upon conviction is five years in prison and $250,000 in fines, Collins said.

Cox’s financial problems became public in July 1986 when the former InterFirst Corp., the parent of InterFirst Bank Dallas that later merged with Republic Bank to become First RepublicBank, announced that Cox’s loans were in default.

Cox resigned as a director of the bank in June 1986. His father, a founding director of InterFirst and for whom the Edwin L. Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University is named, resigned from the bank holding company’s board in August 1986.

InterFirst at the same time announced a $281 million loss for the quarter and said it was preparing to make a provision for loan losses for that quarter of as much as $365 million.

Bank officials at that time said a big part of the expected charge was from $80 million in loans, letters of credit and other credit InterFirst Bank extended to Cox.

Between June 1986 and October 1987, Cox paid $96 million in principal, interest and fees to the bank representing the full amount owed.

Cox also is a cattle feeder in the Texas Panhandle and a rancher in Henderson County.

In addition to announcing his planned guilty plea, Cox also said he was resigning as chairman of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, which he has chaired for five years.

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