$7.5M fraud verdict against Wilson Bank & Trust

A Rutherford County jury has ordered Wilson Bank & Trust to pay $7.5 million in compensatory and punitive damages to home builder Ken Howell, his wife and two of his companies. Howell had sued after former Wilson branch manager Stan Hayes had manipulated his entities' loan accounts by forging signatures. The bank may appeal the verdict; Howell says he simply wants to close the book on the episode.

“They need to make the victims whole, and we both need to move on,” Howell said. He noted that he owes several local companies money after closing his business and plans to “square up” his accounts.