Trucking co. owner, bank president sentenced to 42 months in check-kiting scheme

| 9/28/2012

The owner of a trucking company and a former bank executive have both been sentenced to 42 months in federal prison for their roles in an elaborate check-kiting scheme that defrauded a Minnesota bank of nearly $1.5 million.

In April, a federal jury found George L. Wintz, Jr., 72 – owner of Triangle Warehouse Inc., McCallum Transfer Inc. and Cue Properties LLC – guilty of two counts of bank fraud and one count of embezzlement from Triangle’s 401(k) plan.

John A. Markert, 58, of Mendota Heights, MN, former bank president at Pinehurst Bank of St. Paul, was found guilty on five counts of misapplication of bank funds.

According to court documents, Markert allegedly aided Wintz, a customer of his bank. The check-kiting scheme, as well as a series of five fraudulent loans totaling $1.9 million, was designed to hide approximately $1.85 million in bad checks written from accounts controlled by Wintz from March 2009 to January 2010.

Another bank discovered the scheme in February 2009 and returned more than $1.8 million in worthless checks to Pinehurst Bank. However, an independent audit uncovered the scheme in January 2010, and Pinehurst Bank was forced to close in May 2010. 

Markert and Wintz were indicted by a federal grand jury in June 2011.

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