September 2, 2015 Edition

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FNB victim of fraud;
bank remains sound

Gretchen Hunt

First National Bank of Lawrence County, which is headquartered in Walnut Ridge, is reassuring customers that their money is safe following the announcement that the bank was a victim of fraud resulting in an approximately $3.9 million loss.

In a release on Friday, the bank reported, "In its June 30, 2015, Call Report, First National Bank of Lawrence County will recognize an approximately $3.9 million reduction in capital because it was the victim of an apparent fraud."

While the bank took a hit, customers are not affected, because prior to the fraud, the bank had built more than sufficient capital reserves to protect itself and its customers.

"As a result, all deposits maintained at the bank remain safe, FDIC insured (up to the $250,000 limit) and business will continue as normal," the release stated.

Any customer who wishes to discuss the status of their relationship with First National should contact bank President and Chief Executive Officer Milton Smith at 870-886-5959.

"The bank continues to meet all standards to qualify as 'well capitalized' pursuant to federal bank regulations," the release stated. "The bank will continue to operate as a source of strength to the communities it serves and all customers."

Due to the ongoing investigation, the bank is not in a position to provide any additional details regarding the underlying fraud.

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