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Published July 02 2010

PRINT EDITION EXCLUSIVE: Area bank bails itself out of bad debt

With time running out, the Olson brothers and their bank partners had hit a brick wall as hard as the diamonds sold at the family’s Royal Jewelers store in downtown Fargo.

Cornerstone Bank, which Brent, Richard and Greg Olson started with three other area investors, was stuck with $10.8 million in bad debt attached to Minnesota auto mogul Denny Hecker.

They needed the debt off the books before the next bank exam in roughly three weeks, or the bank would be “shut down immediately,” Brent Olson wrote in a desperate e-mail to Hecker on Dec. 24, 2008.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of Friday's Forum