Lavin Indicted in Bank Fraud Case

Federal criminal lawyer retained by Lavin of Myrtle Beach.

Howie Lavin of Myrtle Beach was once the co-owner of Lavin Cars, an auto dealership which was located within the city.  The business seemed to be doing well, until it suddenly closed and sources revealed to the community that Lavin had been involved in schemes costing two local financial institutions more than $8 million.  Early this week, Lavin was issued the felony bank fraud charge and has an arraignment hearing next month in Florence federal court.  Lavin has hired a federal criminal lawyer to represent him in this case.

Lavin’s indictment claims that he used three checking accounts to make over 1,800 deposits and withdrawals in a single month at the two banks, CresCom and Carolina Trust.  In doing so, the banks gave Lavin immediate credit on the deposits, which allowed him to increase the funds in the accounts.  He went on to write new checks against the ones that had not cleared the bank yet.  During April 2012, records indicate that Lavin was depositing and withdrawing $4.5 million per day at each of the banks.  In total, over $94 million went into and out of Lavin’s bank accounts at the two banks during April 2012.

Those numerous transactions made during April 2012 caused each bank to lose more than $4 million each.  Prosecutors in this case stated that this is what caused Lavin’s five-year scheme to unravel the following month.  In May 2012, Lavin deposited six checks totaling over $4 million.  The checks were drawn on the Carolina Trust account and put into his CresCom account.  However, there was not enough money in the Carolina Trust account to cover the checks and the account was over-drafted in the amount of $4.2 million.  The next day, those checks were returned to CresCom, which caused that account to overdraft as well, in an amount also exceeding $4 million.

Even worse for Lavin, within one week of his overdrafts, the auto dealer shut down and CresCom began taking vehicles from the lot to try to recoup the money they had lost from Lavin’s bank fraud schemes.

According to the FBI, a bank fraud charge has a maximum prison sentence of 30 years and a $1 million fine.  The prosecution also wants Lavin to repay the banks who suffered the losses.  To do so, they will ask the judge for permission to seize property that Lavin owns to help repay the banks.  However, Lavin’s home in the Barefoot community does not belong to him any longer due to foreclosure.

A good federal criminal defense lawyer will help you in many ways, including discussing your legal options, determining facts and aspects of your case which may work in your favor, uncovering potential problems that can be foreseen and by letting you know what to expect at the different stages of the process.

Having the support of a skilled federal criminal lawyer is beneficial because it can provide security that you are dealing with someone who has the legal knowledge and experience necessary to ensure the best chance of having your case defended properly.  Call a South Carolina criminal lawyer at The Mace Firm to schedule your free consultation.

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