News and Press Releases

Two Plead Guilty In Fraud Case

May 26, 2011

PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ A resident of Greeensburg, Pa., and a resident of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of bank fraud, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Jonathan E. Podlucky, 37, of Westmoreland County, Pa., and Donald K. Pollinger, 68, of Charlotte, North Carolina pleaded guilty to one count before Senior United States District Judge Alan N. Bloch.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that the defendants aided and abetted Gregory Podlucky in a scheme to defraud financial institutions and other investors. Gregory Podlucky was the Chief Financial Officer of the former Le‑Natures, Inc. (LNI), a producer of bottled beverages, located in Latrobe, Pa.  Gregory Podlucky caused false financial statements summarizing the business activity and financial condition of LNI's to be communicated to investors and lenders. Phony documents were created and procured, and used to mislead external auditors to find that the company's false financial statements were accurate. Lenders and investors who relied on the false information were allegedly defrauded by the defendants of over $600 million during the scheme.  The scheme ended in late October 2006, around the time LNI's became involved in bankruptcy proceedings.

Pollinger was an equipment broker for LNI.  Pollinger falsely certified confirmation of transactions between his company and LNI that were provided to LNI's outside auditors.

Jonathan Podlucky was an officer at LNI and oversaw production.  Jonathon Podlucky participated in presentations to outside third parties that misrepresented sales at LNI.

Judge Bloch scheduled sentencing for both Pollinger and Jonathan Podlucky for September 29, 2011.

The law provides for a total sentence of 30 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000, or both.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court continued the bond of Pollinger and Jonathan Podlucky.

Assistant United States Attorneys James Y. Garrett and Robert S. Cessar are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Internal Revenue Service/Criminal Investigation and the United States Postal Inspection Service conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Jonathan E. Podlucky and Donald K. Pollinger.

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