Le-Nature’s ex-CEO Gregory Podlucky indicted for $806 mln Ponzi case
The former chief executive Gregory Podlucky and four other employees of defunct soft-drink maker Le-Nature’s Inc. have been indicted in what authorities say is an $806 million fraud.
Podlucky, of Ligonier Township was charged with tax evasion; mail, wire and bank fraud; and money laundering, according to a 29-count indictment unsealed by U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan.
Podlucky was also charged with money laundering and a separate indictment charged him with income tax evasion for the 2003 to 2006 years. The government wants him to forfeit $7.18 million of bank accounts.
Podlucky founded the Latrobe-based maker of flavored water, fruit juices and tea in 1992 and presided over it until November 2006, when it collapsed under allegations of gross mismanagement and a mountain of debt.
Also indicted were:
• Podlucky’s brother Jonathan, of Hempfield, former chief operating officer of the now-bankrupt company;
• Robert Lynn, of Ligonier Township, a former vice president.
• Andrew Murin, of McDonald, Washington County, a close friend of Gregory Podlucky and a company consultant.
• Donald Pollinger, an equipment broker from Charlotte, N.C.
The four face bank, wire and mail fraud charges, according to the indictment.
Postal inspectors and IRS agents arrested the Podluckys, Murin and Lynn yesterday morning at undisclosed locations, IRS spokesman Andrew Hromoko Jr. said.
Gregory Podlucky was released on $100,000 bond. Jonathan Podlucky, Murin and Lynn were freed on $50,000 bond. Pollinger will arrange to surrender to federal authorities in Pittsburgh at a later date, Buchanan said.