Prattville Man Pleads Guilty to $1,887,000 Bank Fraud
Builder Conducted Check Kite Scheme in 2008
Montgomery, Alabama - Brooks L. Lazenby, age 44, of Prattville, entered a guilty plea to a one-count felony information charging him with bank fraud, U.S. Attorney George L. Beck, Jr., announced today.
According to court records, Lazenby owned Brooks Lazenby Builders, L.L.C. (“BLB”), in Prattville. BLB maintained bank accounts at Guardian Credit Union, BankTrust, and First Community Bank of Central Alabama (“FCB”).
Between April and December 2008, Lazenby “kited” checks among BLB’s accounts at Guardian, BankTrust, and, to a lesser degree, FCB. Lazenby would continuously draw an insufficient funds check on one of these accounts and deposit the check in another account. By doing so, Lazenby gave the banks the false impression that there were significant balances in the accounts, causing the banks to honor checks drawn on the accounts that the banks would have dishonored had they known the true state of affairs. The effect of the kite was to create, unbeknownst to the banks, an involuntary overdraft loan to BLB, the amount of which only became apparent when the kite ended. In this case, the amount of the “loan” was approximately $1,887,204.78, which Guardian and an insurance company suffered as a loss.
When he is sentenced later this year by Chief United States District Judge William K. Watkins, Lazenby faces a statutory maximum penalty of 30 years imprisonment. United States Magistrate Judge Terry F. Moorer released Lazenby today on a $25,000 unsecured bond pending sentencing.
The case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Andrew Schiff.
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