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Trial date set for former Water Valley bank leader

A trial date has been set for Nov. 23 for the former vice president of a Water Valley bank who was indicted by a federal grand jury Sept. 24.

The trial for William J. Pullen, 38, will be held in Greenville before Judge Deborah Brown. Pullen has pleaded not guilty after being accused of bank fraud, theft and embezzlement linked to an elaborate scheme to take money from Mechanics Bank.

Court documents show Pullen was a loan officer and would issue loans and lines of credits in the names of bank customers. The indictment shows Pullen took out at least $1.3 million in other people’s names. He allegedly took some of that money for himself and used some of it to make payments on other bogus loans. The documents show the charges stem from loans taken out in customers’ names dating back to February 2009 and continuing through 2014.

Customer’s names are not identified in the indictment, but the FDIC is involved in the case.

According to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District, Pullen is being represented by the public defender’s office, including senior defenders Greg Park and George Lucas.

Pullen was indicted on two counts, with each count being punishable by no more than 30 years in prison, no more than a $1 million fine, no more than five years of supervised release and a $100 special assessment.

Mechanics Bank employees and its board of directors are not authorized to talk about the case, but bank president Cam Tyler released a statement to the EAGLE.

“Mechanics Bank’s management and board of directors have cooperated fully with this investigation,” he said. “Rest assured that Mechanics Bank has taken all the appropriate steps to protect our customers and the bank. Because this is an active legal proceeding with privacy concerns, we cannot comment further at this time.”