Defendants Seek New Venue for Va. Bank Fraud Trial

September 16, 2012

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Three former Bank of the Commonwealth executives accused of bank fraud say they can't get a fair trial in Hampton Roads.

Former president Ed Woodward and two former vice presidents, Woodward's son T. Brandon Woodward and Stephen Fields, filed motions last week in federal court seeking a change of venue. They were indicted in July along with another former bank executive and two borrowers.

Their motions cite publicity surrounding the case. The Virginian-Pilot says Ed Woodward's attorneys submitted 100 pages of its articles on the case to the court.

The defendants are accused of participating in a fraud scheme that led to the bank's collapse in September 2011. One defendant, developer Thomas Arney of Chesapeake, pleaded guilty in August to bank fraud charges.

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