Former Viking Stu Voigt agrees to banking ban, $15,000 fine

The FDIC questioned loans at a bank the former Vikings great headed in Bloomington.

Stu Voigt.

Former Vikings star Stu Voigt has agreed to stay out of banking and pay a $15,000 fine to settle accusations of illegal activity while he was chairman of First Commercial Bank in Bloomington.

The agreement ends a dispute that went public in December when the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) threatened to bar Voigt from banking and fine him $125,000. In the order disclosed Friday, the FDIC said it had reason to believe Voigt violated the law and bank regulations at First Commercial Bank when he voted to approve bank loans without disclosing his relationship with the borrower.

The borrower, according to earlier FDIC documents, was a real estate investment company in which Voigt was allegedly deeply involved, called Hennessey Financial.

Voigt did not admit any wrongdoing and waived his right to an administrative hearing on the matter, according to an order disclosed Friday by the FDIC.

Voigt's lawyer Phil Cole said Voigt agreed to the terms to avoid costly litigation with the banking regulator. "It's over," Cole said. "It just wasn't worth the fight."

"He's very pleased," Cole said of the former Vikings tight end.

Cole said Voigt would not be commenting.

Voigt, 63, of Apple Valley, is playing legal defense on other fronts. A former Vikings teammate, football Hall of Famer Ron Yary, is part of a group that sued Voigt last year in U.S. District Court in Minnesota for securities fraud.

They accuse Voigt of cheating them out of more than $1 million when he convinced them to make "risk free" investments in at least two companies Voigt was involved with, Hennessey Financial and Assured Financial.

The companies, allegedly operated by real estate developer Jeffrey A. Gardner, both failed.

Voigt has denied the accusations, arguing that he lost more than $2 million himself in the investments, according to court documents. The case is ongoing.

In February, Voigt received a letter from the U.S. attorney's office in Minnesota in February informing him that he was the target of a federal investigated into alleged bank and wire fraud, court documents show.

Voigt's lawyer on that matter, Joe Friedberg, said Friday that the probe is still probably ongoing but that "nothing is happening." Voigt has not been charged with anything.

Jennifer Bjorhus • 612-673-4683

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