Former Silver State official to pay $1,000 fine to FDIC

Federal regulators on Friday released a third enforcement action related to the failure of Silver State Bank in Henderson.

In the newest action, Gary A. Gardner has agreed to never again serve as a bank officer and to pay a $1,000 fine to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

The agreement settles an FDIC investigation into allegations that while employed by Silver State, Gardner "engaged or participated in violations of law or regulations, unsafe or unsound banking practices, and/or breaches of fiduciary duty."

In a three-page consent order, the FDIC determined the violations "involved personal dishonesty on the part of (Gardner) and/or (Gardner's) willful and/or continuing disregard for the safety and soundness of the bank."

The FDIC didn't go into detail about why it investigated Gardner.

Gardner, who is now in real estate sales at Coldwell Banker Premier in Las Vegas, was not immediately available for comment.

A profile posted on the professional networking website LinkedIn says Gardner was senior vice president at Silver State from April 2006 to May 2008. Before joining Silver State, Gardner was senior vice president at First National Bank of Nevada, senior vice president, department manager at Wells Fargo Bank and vice president of Great American Bank in San Diego.

Silver State failed in September 2008 due to continuing real estate losses that dissolved its reserves. At the time it was seized by the FDIC, Silver State had loans and other assets of nearly $1.9 billion and 17 branches in Nevada and Arizona.

Nevada State Bank, which is part of Zions Bancorporation, took over 13 branches. National Bank of Arizona, another Zions subsidiary, took over four Silver State branches in Arizona. The FDIC said the failure cost its Deposit Insurance Fund $450 million to $550 million.

The FDIC's investigation into Gardner and other former Silver State executives is part of the agency's continuing effort to recover money from failed banks. The FDIC declined comment.

The other two former Silver State executives investigated by the FDIC are Douglas E. French and Steven D. Haynes. French, the bank's former executive vice president and real estate manager, agreed last month to pay $35,000 to settle his lawsuit with the FDIC.

The FDIC had accused French of being associated with bad loans that cost the bank more than $10 million. In the original complaint, the FDIC said it would seek a $125,000 fine from him.

French is now president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, a libertarian social and economic think tank in Auburn, Ala.

The complaint against Haynes has not been resolved, according to the FDIC. The federal agency proposes to fine Haynes $75,000 and bar him from working for any insured depository institution.

Contact reporter Chris Sieroty at or 702-477-3893.