New documentary focuses on only bank prosecuted in 2008 financial crisis

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There's a new movie about the only bank in the nation to be prosecuted after the financial crisis of 2008. "Abacus: Small Enough to Jail" is already getting rave reviews. The film is currently playing at the Siskel Film Center.

ABC 7's Janet Davies talked to one of the filmmakers about an immigrant family's dream come true that turned into a nightmare.

"It seemed like a real injustice for a family that had pursued the American Dream and was doing something good for the community," said Mark Mitten, the film's producer.

The family-owned Abacus Federal Savings in New York was accused of large scale mortgage fraud.

The bank actually had one of the lowest default rates in the country. Producer Mark Mitten is close friends with the Sung family. The family spent five years and $10 million, refusing to surrender honor and reputation.

"The DA was looking for a way to be the only prosecutor in the country to actually convict a bank and be victorious, so that would have been an interesting scalp to put on the wall for him," said Mitten.

Master documentarian Steve James directs the film, which has some startling images.

District Attorney Cyrus Vance had employees rounded up and chained together, herded in front of the media.

"While this comes across like a legal thriller, it really is a family comedy; it's unlike any documentary you've ever seen," said Mitten.
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