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Owner of Gebhardt Trailer Sales in Jacksonville Pleads Guilty to $1 Million Mail Fraud, Money Laundering Scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2011

Springfield, Ill. – The owner of Gebhardt Trailer Sales, of Jacksonville, Ill., today waived indictment and pled guilty to one count each of mail fraud and money laundering as charged in an information filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois. Jacklyn Still, a.k.a. Jacklyn Gebhardt, 49, of Lynn Haven, Florida, pled guilty to engaging in a scheme to defraud individuals and financial institutions of at least $1,000,000 from June 2004 through about April 26, 2010.

Gebhardt entered her guilty pleas before U.S. Magistrate Judge Byron G. Cudmore. Sentencing has been scheduled for July 25, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough.

The offense of mail fraud carries a statutory penalty of up to 30 years in prison; money laundering carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison. In addition to any term of imprisonment, the government sought forfeiture of at least $1,000,000. As part of her plea, Gebhardt today forfeited her interest in four properties, including three located in Jacksonville: 101 Adele Court; 109 Pearl Place; and 1111 Hall Drive; and, approximately 34 acres located at 12016 North County Road 1650 East, Havana, Ill.

In court documents and during today’s hearing, Gebhardt admitted that she engaged in various schemes to defraud individuals and financial institutions of more than $1,000,000. Gebhardt admitted that she accepted motor homes on trade based on the representation that, as part of the trade, the loan securing the motor home would be paid. Gebhardt however, admitted that she resold the motor homes without paying off the original loan and kept the full amount of money from the sale, thus leaving two parties responsible for loans secured by a single vehicle. Gebhardt also sold individuals’ motor homes on consignment with the agreement that when a unit was sold, Gebhardt was to turn over the sale amount, less her commission, to the vehicle’s owner. Gebhardt admitted that on several occasions between July 2008 and February 2010, she sold a consignment vehicle to another party, but kept the sale proceeds and did not turn over the sales amount to the owner or pay off previous liens.

Gebhardt further admitted that after she sold a motor home to purchasers and secured financing for the purchasers, on at least two occasions, she then contacted the purchasers and falsely represented that she had located more favorable financing from a second financial institution. Gebhardt sent the financing forms to the purchasers, and when they sent it back to Gebhardt, she then forwarded it to the financial institution and received the money for the second loan. Instead of paying off the first loan, however, Gebhardt kept the money, leaving the purchasers with two outstanding loans secured by a single motor home.

In or about June 2007, Gebhardt entered into a floor plan line of credit and security agreement with a Jacksonville, Illinois bank that advanced Gebhardt approximately $1.8 million. On several occasions, when bank representatives made inspections of the inventory, Gebhardt admitted that she falsely represented that the collateral was at another location, that potential buyers were testing the units, or the units were being customized by a company located out of state. In fact, Gebhardt admitted that she had sold these vehicles to others without making payment to the bank as promised. During this same time period, Gebhardt admitted she also fraudulently pledged certain trailers and motor homes as collateral for loans and / or lines of credit to at least two additional financial institutions.

The charges were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation; and the Illinois Secretary of State Police. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick D. Hansen.

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