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Federal judge in Pittsburgh sets Le-Nature's payback at $661 million for Podlucky, others
PITTSBURGH (AP) ' A federal judge in Pittsburgh says the former CEO of soft drink maker Le-Nature is responsible for $661 million in restitution to investors, vendors and lenders who lost money in a massive fraud.
Senior U.S. District Judge Alan Bloch sentenced Gregory Podlucky on Thursday to 20 years in prison for masterminding a scheme to inflate the company's revenues to attract additional financing. But Bloch left open the matter of restitution.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (http://bit.ly/rjOQqH) first reported on Bloch's restitution ruling, which was issued Monday.
Podlucky claimed a consortium of lenders led by Wachovia Bank weren't victims of the $684 million scheme, saying they withdrew $258 million in bankruptcy claims for a loan not repaid after Le-Nature's 2006 bankruptcy. But the judge agreed with prosecutors who argued Wachovia, alone, withdrew a $23 million claim.
Podlucky and five other executives are expected to repay a fraction of the amount owed.