$14 Million Fraudster Was Credit Union Contractor
Scott Lonzinski, who pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court to defrauding the now-defunct $52 million Broome County Teachers FCU of Binghamton, N.Y., was no stranger to the credit union.
Lonzinski, who was accused along with his mother of obtaining more than $14 million in fraudulent loans that eventually caused the 3,900-member credit union’s failure, apparently was hired to renovate BCT FCU’s Montrose, Pa. branch.
A website for Scott Lonzinski Construction includes photos and a description of the project.
“Located in Montrose, Penn., BCT Federal Credit Union bought an old home, and gut (sic) the property, but leaving the existing characteristic chimney. Scott Lonzinski Construction Inc., renovated and updated the property,” the website said.
The location, southwest of Montrose along Pennsylvania State Route 706, appears to still operate as a branch serving members of the $3 billion Visions FCU of Endicott, N.Y., which purchased the failed BCT’s assets in December 2011.
Visions Executive Vice President Jim Felmet did not immediately return a call confirming the location was part of the BCT P&A transaction.
Lonzinski’s website also features photos of the construction of his own personal home, which a fraudulent BCT FCU loan allegedly funded.
According to court documents, authorities seized a collection of personal and construction vehicles tied to the fraudulent loan proceeds, including a 2011 BMW X5 SUV, a 2010 BMW 328XI coupe, a 2009 Ford Shelby Mustang, two 2011 GMC Sierra 2500 pickups, a 2009 Chevrolet Silverado pickup, a 2011 Peterbilt 288 semi and two 2011 Arctic Cat F-8 snowmobiles.
Authorities also seized $4.34 million from accounts at The Honesdale National Bank of Honesdale, Pa., and more than $825,000 in cash proceeds.
Five million dollars’ worth of the duo’s seized assets were paid to the NCUA as restitution, and applied to the NCUSIF, said agency spokesman John Fairbanks.
The Scranton, Pa. Times-Tribune reported that U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian said co-conspirator Laura Conarton, Lonzinski’s mother who also pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, had worked in the banking industry for 10 years and used the experience to help perpetrate the fraud.
Lonzinski and Conarton both face a maximum sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1 million. Sentencing is scheduled for Lonzinski on Dec. 19 and Conarton on Dec. 20.