TYLER, Texas — A former longtime White Oak mayor and Gregg County GOP chairman has been charged in federal court with making false statements and committing aggravated identity theft in connection with a suspected local banking scheme.

According to the Longview News-Journal, Timmy (Tim) Lynn Vaughn, 59, of Longview, was indicted by a federal grand jury on February 20 and is now hoping to avoid "decades in prison."

The Longview New-Journal reports prosecutors are seeking to seize "$146,000 and all interest and proceeds related to the alleged crimes."

Vaughn was arraigned in Tyler and appointed a public defender by U.S. Magistrate Judge K. Nicole Mitchell, according to the Longview New-Journal.

Vaughn is accused of making material false statements to Southside Bank on March 18, 2016, and to Texas Bank and Trust on March 26, 2016. 

The Longview News-Journal says Vaughn reportedly used identification for a person with the initials D.V. and made false statement to the banks.

He allegedly knew the signature for a borrower on a line of credit at Southside Bank was forged on the promissory note and other necessary documents. At Texas Bank and Trust, the Longview News-Journal reports, according to the indictment, Vaughn made false statements to sway the bank in regards to a commercial loan. He reportedly stated the co-owner of collateral executed a notarized deed of trust for the real property. However, the indictment says "[Vaughn] well knew, the co-owner’s signature was forged."

According to the Cornell Law School, making false statements to a financial institution carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison and a fine up to $1 million. The law school also reports the sentence for aggravated identity theft is punishable by up to two years in federal prison.

Vaughn is self-employed as a real estate developer, home builder and licensed realtor, according to his biography on the Northeast Texas Regional Mobility Authority website. He was elected to the White Oak City Council in 1993 and served six terms as mayor of White Oak Mayor (1996-2008).

He has also served on the Longview MPO Executive Board, the local planning authority for transportation needs for the Longview/White Oak area. Vaughn was previously appointed to the 12-member State Rail Planning Task Force for the Texas Department of Transportation.

He previously served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Longview Regional Medical Center and Chairman of the Board for the Gregg and Harrison County Children’s Advocacy Center.

He resigned from his post as Gregg County Republican Party chairman in 2016.

On two occasions, plaintiffs have won their case after filing civil lawsuits against Vaughn in Gregg County.

In April 2017, Wilhite Landscaping filed a lawsuit in small claims court against Vaughn and was awarded $640.62 by Gregg County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 B.H. Jameson.

In June 2017, AP EQUIPMENT & RENTALS sued Vaughn and was awarded $6,316.44 by Judge Tim Bryan.