Pittsfield Businessman Pleads Guilty to $4 Million Conspiracy to Defraud a Credit Union
BOSTON – A businessman, who owned and operated five real estate development companies in Pittsfield, pleaded guilty today in federal court in Springfield to defrauding a credit union.
Jeffrey Pierce, 51, of Pittsfield, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to receive money through transactions of a credit union with intent to defraud the credit union and to make false statements to a federal credit union. U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni scheduled sentencing for Oct. 3, 2018.
Between 2005 and 2008, a former Vice President of Greylock Federal Credit Union (GFCU) authorized approximately $4 million in various loans and modifications to Pierce and his companies in violation of GFCU’s loan policies. By circumventing GFCU’s policies, the Vice President caused GFCU to provide Pierce and his companies with funds far in excess of what Pierce and his companies could reasonably receive or repay. In exchange for improperly authorizing these loans, Pierce agreed to provide - and did provide - the Vice President with $134,773 in check payments from Pierce’s companies derived from GFCU loans that were paid to a front company created by the employee; the free use of a home constructed by one of Pierce’s companies with a GFCU loan; and the free use of a BMW automobile purchased by one of Pierce’s companies with a GFCU loan. Around March 2010, at the Vice President’s direction and for the purpose of influencing the action of GFCU upon the loans, Pierce falsely stated to GFCU that the money paid by his companies to the front company were payments for design work that the Vice President’s wife provided to Pierce’s construction projects.
The conspiracy charge provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, New England Field Division, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven H. Breslow of Lelling’s Springfield Branch Office is prosecuting the case.