LeNature's ex-CEO wants sentence thrown out, claims lawyer misled him about plea deal
The former CEO of LeNature's Inc. has asked a federal judge to vacate his 20-year prison sentence, claiming his attorney misled him about a plea deal that would have reduced his sentence and spared his wife and son from prison, according to a federal court filing.
Gregory Podlucky, 53, formerly of Ligonier Township, also asked that the judge unseal the transcript of a sidebar hearing on the day of sentencing because it will prove his contentions, according to the motion.
Podlucky is serving 20 years at a federal prison in Fort Dix, N.J., after pleading guilty to tax evasion, conspiracy and mail, wire and bank fraud in connection with the looting of the Latrobe-based beverage company. He stole more than $800 million, triggering a series of complex civil lawsuits and criminal indictments.
His wife, Karla, 52, is serving four years and three months in Alderson, W.Va. Their son, Jesse, 31, is serving nine years at a federal prison in South Dakota, according to Bureau of Prison records. Podlucky's brother, Jonathan, a company executive, is serving a five-year prison term in Beckley, W.Va.
Podlucky was represented by attorney Alexander Lindsay Jr. of Butler because attorney Tom Ceraso, who had been defending him, died before Podlucky changed his plea in 2011 from not guilty to guilty.
According to Podlucky, the deal called for him to cooperate with attorneys in a lawsuit involving Wachovia Securities, which had lent millions of dollars to LeNature's. Podlucky would forfeit the right to keep any of more than $30 million in precious gems and expensive jewelry that he purchased with stolen money, except for a few personal items that are the subject of pending litigation in federal court.
After he was indicted on the initial charges, Podlucky, his wife and son were indicted for money laundering for selling a secret stash of gems to raise $400,000 to pay Lindsay and to purchase personal items including patio furniture and an $80,000 Mercedes Benz, according to court records.
“I don't think it's appropriate for me to comment,” Lindsay said on Monday.
Podlucky said he never would have pleaded guilty if he knew the government wasn't going to honor the plea bargain.
Attorney Cheryl Strum of Chadds Ford, Delaware County, who now represents Podlucky, did not respond to a request for comment.
Richard Gazarik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6292 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- New charges against Hempfield bicyclist possible
- Robber holds up Family Dollar in Greensburg
- Man charged with firing gun, narrowly missing child
- Coming off hill revives Seton Hill University, downtown Greensburg
- Model Railroad Home Tour set to raise funds for Ligonier Valley Rail Road
- Greensburg gathering hears remembrances of pre-Holocaust Germany
- Connellsville family races for cancer cure
- Unity man collects bits of Westmoreland County history
- Westmoreland sheriff’s race a rerun of 2011
- Landslide fix will close street in Smithton
- Charges filed in stolen property investigation