Due to the lapse in appropriations, Department of Justice websites will not be regularly updated. The Department’s essential law enforcement and national security functions will continue. Please refer to the Department of Justice’s contingency plan for more information.

You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Alabama

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pelham Man Sentenced To Three Years In Prison For Laundering Money In Scam With Daughter

BIRMINGHAM – A federal judge today sentenced a Pelham man to three years and one month in prison for laundering money in a scheme with his daughter that collected more than $400,000 for expenses of a lawsuit that never existed, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, Alabama Securities Commission Director Joseph P. Borg, IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Veronica Hyman-Pillot, and FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard D. Schwein Jr.

U.S. District Judge C. Lynwood Smith Jr. sentenced PAUL HASKELL LANE JR., 69, to prison and ordered him to pay $343,900 in restitution to 20 victims of the scam he perpetrated with his daughter, Katherine Hope Lane, 28. The judge also ordered Paul Lane to forfeit $10,500 to the government as proceeds of illegal activity. Paul Lane pleaded guilty to the money-laundering charge in August.

"The crime in this case was plotted and executed over more than three years' time. As part of that scheme, Lane peddled a false story about a lawsuit for which his family ostensibly needed money," the government said in its sentencing memorandum to the court. "After Lane seeded the ground, Katherine fertilized and watered it with myriad lies and stories designed to engender additional sympathy and obtain more money from Lane's friends and associates. At critical times, Lane spoke to key money sources (i.e., victims) to ensure that the funds continued to flow to him and Katherine."

Lane's sentencing caps a six-year investigation and prosecution effort by federal and state authorities. In late 2009, Lane and his daughter were separately indicted for wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering for their roles in a plan to get people in other states to wire money to Lane's bank account. Those who sent money were led to believe it would go toward costs for a personal-injury lawsuit filed by the Lane family after Katherine Lane suffered a brutal assault at work.

The Lanes represented that proceeds from the lawsuit would be used to repay people who donated. Most who provided money also believed that they would get back from the Lanes more money than they sent. Katherine Lane, however, had not been assaulted and the Lanes had no lawsuit.

Over the course of several years, Lane took the money that was wired into his account and gave it to his daughter.

Katherine Lane pleaded guilty in 2010 to wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering. She was sentenced in 2011 to seven years and three months in federal prison. Katherine Lane also pleaded guilty to felony state securities fraud charges related to her actions. Her sentence of seven years and three months on the state charges was ordered to run concurrently with the federal sentence.

The Internal Revenue Service, the FBI and the Alabama Securities Commission investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa K. Atwood prosecuted the case.

Updated March 19, 2015