- July 31, 2022
Jerry Williams, the former CEO and chairman of Naples-based Orion Bank, says he will plead guilty to bank fraud, in an agreement filed in U.S. District Court in Fort Myers on Wednesday.
Williams could face as long as 15 years in prison if a judge accepts the plea agreement. No sentencing date has been set.
Williams will plead guilty to one count of bank fraud and two counts of making false statements in connection with events leading up to the failure of Naples-based Orion Bank, according to the plea agreement with government attorneys.
In a statement, Williams' attorney said the banker was a victim of the economic collapse that swept through the Southwest Florida real estate market. “He did not profit one dollar from his actions and in fact lost everything when Orion failed,” says William Sullivan Jr., a Washington D.C.-based attorney who represented Williams.
“Sadly, Orion, unlike the mega banks on Wall Street which were bailed out by the government, received no assistance in its time of need,” Sullivan says. “Jerry Williams was left on his own and he did everything he could to ensure Orion's survival.”
The U.S. Attorney's office declined to comment on the plea agreement until a judge has approved it.