The Lancaster Intelligencer Journal reported that former EFI executive Michael J. Schlager was sentenced to 20 years in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $53 million by U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond in Philadelphia.
This follows sentencing of Joseph M. Braas to 15 years in prison and restitution in the same amount, the article said.
As previously reported on monitordaily, EFI was a logging industry lender that provided financing for the purchase of forestry and land clearing equipment, primarily in the southeastern U.S. According to the indictment, from the time it was acquired by Sterling Financial in March 2002, until April 2007, the value of EFI’s loan portfolio grew on paper from approximately $80 million to approximately $330 million. Sterling was subsequently acquired by PNC Financial in April 2008.
It is alleged in the indictment that as far back as 2001, before EFI was acquired by Sterling, the defendants, which include five former EFI employees, were engaging in a systematic fraud at EFI. From 2001 through 2007, they are charged with colluding in a pervasive scheme to steal money by looting the accounts of EFI and falsifying EFI’s books.
Sentencing of former EFI employee Mary Stankiewicz is scheduled for this month, and sentencing of Misty Kroesen and Curtis Kroesen is scheduled for October. Sentencing of Alabama businessman John Tomberlin is also slated for later this month and sentencing for John Wiley Spann is slated for January 2013, according to court documents.
To read the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal article click here.
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