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By Dan Levine
SAN FRANCISCO, March 25 (Reuters) - The former chief operating officer of a major Chinese-American bank in San Francisco was convicted on Wednesday of several criminal counts, including securities fraud, over allegations he concealed deteriorating loans at the height of the 2008 financial crisis.
Prosecutors accused former United Commercial Bank executive Ebrahim Shabudin in Oakland, California, federal court of hiding from auditors the plummeting value of the collateral that secured the bank’s biggest loans.
Shabudin argued that he had wide responsibilities at the bank and was reliant on other executives to handle accounting details.
UCB received $298.7 million from the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program during the financial meltdown and was the ninth-largest bank to fail during the crisis. Its operations were eventually taken over by East West Bancorp Inc.
An attorney for Shabudin could not immediately be reached for comment, nor could representatives for the U.S. Department of Justice.
UCB ex-chief executive Thomas Wu faces a civil lawsuit brought by securities regulators, but he was not criminally charged. Other former UCB executives pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against Shabudin.
The criminal case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is United States of America vs. Ebrahim Shabudin, 11-cr-664. (Reporting by Dan Levine, editing by Leslie Adler and David Gregorio)