Hanover Businessman Indicted On $150,000 Bank Fraud And Money Laundering Charges
SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that on September 7, a federal grand jury in Harrisburg indicted Matthew S. Norris, age 34, a Hanover, PA businessman on bank fraud and money laundering charges.
The Indictment was unsealed today following Norris’ arrest. Norris today was brought before United States Chief Magistrate Judge Martin C. Carlson for his initial appearance. Norris entered a plea of not guilty and was released on bail pending trial, which is scheduled for November 14, 2016 before U.S. District Court Judge Sylvia H. Rambo.
According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the Indictment alleges Norris is the owner and operator of Norris Enterprises, d/b/a Aerus Electrolux, Hanover. Norris allegedly devised and executed a scheme in 2011 that defrauded GE Bank out of approximately $157,000. Norris, as the owner/operator of Aerus Electrolux, was an authorized independent franchisee of Electrolux International, which was then located on York Street, in Hanover.
According to the Indictment, Norris allegedly submitted approximately 27 credit applications under the names and identifiers of his customers to GE Bank without the customers’ knowledge or consent. By inflating the customers’ income on electronic credit applications, Norris succeeded in obtaining lines of credit for the customers to purchase Electrolux products. Norris then charged the approved accounts for fictional merchandise sales and, as a result, GE Bank deposited the loan proceeds into Norris’ business account.
When the customers’ monthly credit card payments became due, Norris allegedly made the payments on their behalf without their knowledge from the proceeds of the scam. Monthly statements were never sent to the customers; Norris listed his business address as their home address on the customers’ electronic credit applications.
The scheme was discovered in October of 2011 when an Electrolux executive initiated an onsite audit of Norris’ business. When GE Bank learned what Norris had done, it immediately credited all amounts owed by the customers. The overall net loss to the bank was approximately $150,000.
The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kim Douglas Daniel.
Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
The maximum penalty under federal law is 30 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a $1,000,000 fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.
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