GREENVILLE • Two north Lee County men accused of defrauding Renasant Bank of more than $850,000 were sentenced in federal court Friday for bank fraud.

Max H. Miller, 53, of Saltillo, and James R. “Pete” Nichols, 52, of Baldwyn, appeared before U.S. District Judge Debra M. Brown in Greenville Sept. 13. Both had previously pleaded guilty to a single count of bank fraud.

Miller was ordered to serve 18 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. Nichols was sentenced to time served followed by 5 years of probation. Both were ordered to pay $374,261 in restitution to Renasant Bank.

Miller, who was the vice president and commercial relations officer for Renasant Bank in Saltillo from January 2012 until December 2014, used his position as a loan officer to create fraudulent loans to benefit himself and Nichols.

In the original indictment, Miller was also charged with seven counts of embezzlement. Those crimes reportedly total about $128,000. Those were dropped as part of a plea agreement.

“The actions of these individuals represent a betrayal not only of the bank they defrauded, but the public trust,” said US Attorney Chad Lamar. “We appreciate the diligent investigation by our partners that helped bring these individuals to justice.”


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