Neil Bush was the most widely targeted member of the Bush family by the press in the S&L scandal. Neil became director of Silverado Savings and Loan at the age of 30 in 1985. Three years later the institution was belly up at a cost of $1.6 billion to tax payers to bail out.
The basic actions of Neil Bush in the S&L scandal are as follows:
Neil received a $100,000 “loan” from Ken Good, of Good International, with no obligation to pay any of the money back.
Good was a large shareholder in JNB Explorations, Neil Bush’s oil-exploration company.
Neil failed to disclose this conflict-of-interest when loans were given to Good from Silverado, because the money was to be used in joint venture with his own JNB. This was in essence giving himself a loan from Silverado through a third party.
Neil then helped Silverado S&L approve Good International for a $900,000 line of credit.
Good defaulted on a total $32 million in loans from Silverado.
During this time Neil Bush did not disclose that $3 million of the $32 million that Good was defaulting on was actually for investment in JNB, his own company.
Good subsequently raised Bush’s JNB salary from $75,000 to $125,000 and granted him a $22,500 bonus.
Neil Bush maintained that he did not see how this constituted a conflict of interest.
Neil approved $106 million in Silverado loans to another JNB investor, Bill Walters.
Neil also never formally disclosed his relationship with Walters and Walters also defaulted on his loans, all $106 million of them.
Neil Bush was charged with criminal wrongdoing in the case and ended up paying $50,000 to settle out of court. The chief of Silverado S&L was sentenced to 3.5 years in jail for pleading guilty to $8.7 million in theft. (Keep in mind that you can get more jail time for holding up a gas station for $50.)
Today Neil Bush is working on closing a deal in Florida, where his brother Jeb is governor, to sell a software package to schools with his startup company Ignite.