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Peoria Businessman Sentenced to 21-Month Prison Term for Fraud

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 28, 2011

Peoria, Ill. A Peoria-area businessman, Mark Swank, 40, of Washington, Ill., was sentenced today to serve 21 months in federal prison for money laundering and bankruptcy fraud, as announced by James A. Lewis, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois. U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid ordered that Swank surrender on Sept. 27, to the federal Bureau of Prisons. Swank was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $800,000, and to serve a two-year term of supervised release upon completion of his prison sentence.

On Apr. 20, 2011, Swank waived indictment and pled guilty to an information charging him with money laundering and bankruptcy fraud. Swank, the owner and president of several corporations in central Illinois, including T.A. Brinkoetter and Sons, secured a bank loan of $1,000,000 and a $1,600,000 line of credit in January 2008 to acquire all of T.A. Brinkoetter’s outstanding stock. As president, Swank pledged all of the company’s assets, including equipment, as collateral to secure the loans. In September 2008, Swank sold the encumbered equipment to another bank for $660,000; then entered into an agreement to lease it back. Swank admitted that he falsely represented to the bank that the equipment was not encumbered by any liens when in fact he knew that the equipment was encumbered to the bank from which he had secured two loans.

Further, Swank admitted that when he and his wife filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, in May 2010, Swank falsely stated, in documents filed with the court, that he did not possess more than $5,000 in cash. On July 7, 2010, Swank testified at a meeting of creditors that he had reviewed and signed the bankruptcy papers and that the papers were accurate. However, during execution of search warrants of the corporations and of Swank’s home on July 8, 2010, agents found $92,000 in cash at Swank’s home.

The charges were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division and also referred by the U.S. Trustee for Indiana and Central and Southern Illinois (Region 10). Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Darilynn J. Knauss prosecuted the case.

“Full and accurate disclosure of assets is a cornerstone of our nation’s bankruptcy system,” stated Nancy J. Gargula, U.S. Trustee for Region 10. “We are grateful to U.S. Attorney Lewis, Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Knauss, the FBI and the IRS Criminal Investigation Division for their commitment to combating bankruptcy fraud and abuse, as demonstrated by this successful prosecution.” Region 10 of the U.S. Trustee Program is headquartered in Indianapolis, with additional offices in South Bend, Ind., and Peoria, Ill. The U.S. Trustee Program is the component of the Justice Department that protects the integrity of the bankruptcy system by overseeing case administration and litigating to enforce the bankruptcy laws.

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