Judge upholds search warrant in Podlucky prosecution
After using "345 Cobblestone Lane" as his home address for years, Gregory Podlucky can't claim a search warrant was invalid because it used that address instead of the actual address of his home, 297 Sunrise Lane, a federal judge ruled today.
U.S. District Judge Alan Bloch ruled that the former LeNature's Inc. CEO has "clearly associated" the Cobblestone Lane address with his Ligonier Township residence, and the search warrant physically described the residence, so it was clear as to what structure was to be searched.
"The warrant goes far beyond merely listing an address," the judge said.
Podlucky's attorney, Alexander Lindsay Jr., had asked the court to throw out all the evidence seized during the 2007 search of Podlucky's home. The evidence, including files from several computers and flash drives, was used to indict Podlucky on 30 counts of mail, wire and bank fraud.
Podlucky testified that he had lived in a house at the Cobblestone Lane address until August of 2001 and continued using the address. He still owns the property, but the house was destroyed in a fire in 2002, he said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Cessar said that Podlucky and all his family members used the Cobblestone Lane address on their driver's licenses in 2010 and used that address for the mortgage on his current home.
The judge also denied Podlucky's motion to move the trial out of Western Pennsylvania. Lindsay argued that "sensational and pervasive" news coverage surrounding the Latrobe bottling company's 2006 bankruptcy and the subsequent indictments had tainted the potential juror pool.
Bloch said the defense hadn't shown it would be impossible to draw an impartial jury. The trial on the fraud charges is scheduled to start July 5.
Podlucky; former LeNature's vice president Robert Lynn and consultant Andrew Murin were indicted in an alleged scheme that defrauded banks and lending institutions out of $801 million, according to an indictment.
Podlucky's brother, former chief operating officer Jonathan Podlucky, 37, and Charlotte, N.C., business associate Donald Pollinger, 68, also were charged in the indictment and pleaded guilty last week. Under a plea bargain, they'll be sentenced to five years in prison and three years of probation.
Their attorneys declined to say whether the two men will testify against the other defendants.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.