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Meadville man pleads guilty to fraud, money laundering

Meadville resident and former CEO of People’s Bank of the South in Bude, Larry Barnette Hill, pleaded guilty to charges of bank fraud and money laundering in Jackson’s U.S. District Court Monday.

According to U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis and FBI Special Agent in Charge Daniel McMullen, Hill deposited funds between 2004 and 2012 into family members’ accounts that were fraudulently withdrawn from the bank’s payroll clearing account.

Hill also utilized a “shell” account he created to house the embezzled funds.

Authorities also discovered that Hill used the bank’s credit card, without authorization, for personal expenses and took third-party checks issued in the bank’s name to make payments on a personal loan he held at a different bank as well as to embezzle funds into other accounts he owned and controlled.

Hill used false general ledger tickets that appeared to be for bank expenses to cover up his illegal activities. He would also falsely inflate the bank’s budget every month to hide other embezzlements.

Authorities estimate Hill’s illicit profits to be between $600,000 and over $1 million but are still calculating the exact amount.

Sentencing for Hill is scheduled is scheduled for July 11. U.S. District Judge Tom Lee will be presiding.

Hill faces a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine for bank fraud.

In addition, he faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine for the laundering charges.