Podlucky sentenced to 20 years in prison
By Brian Bowling
Published: Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011
Having already shaved 35 years off his prison sentence through a plea agreement, a Ligonier businessman who masterminded a $685 million fraud didn't deserve any further leniency, a federal judge ruled today.
U.S. District Judge Alan Bloch sentenced Gregory Podlucky, 51, to 20 years in prison and five years of probation. Podlucky pleaded guilty in June to bank, wire and mail fraud for bilking investors and lending institutions out of about $856 million they thought he was investing in bottling company LeNature's Inc.
Bloch ruled that the loss was $685 million, but said he would set the amount of restitution that Podlucky owes at a later date after considering defense and government arguments for how much actual loss Podlucky's victims suffered.
A sobbing Podlucky asked the judge to reduce his sentence further.
"I am nothing but a filthy rag," he told the judge. "The things that I did are abominable."
Podlucky said he has asked God for forgiveness and regrets his actions.
"I feel so bad about what I did to the victims — the pain and suffering," he said.
Bloch said the federal sentencing guidelines recommended a sentence of 55 years and Podlucky's arguments for further leniency "have no merit whatsoever."
He specifically noted that Podlucky continued committing crimes, in the form of money laundering, while he was on pre-trial release for the fraud charges, and it was "frivolous" for Podlucky to argue that a "meticulously planned and executed fraud" that lasted for years represented aberrant behavior on his part.
"Breaking the law was a way of life for Podlucky for years," the judge said.
In addition to the restitution amount, the court also has to rule on which items of personal property Podlucky has to forfeit because they were purchased from the proceeds of his crimes.
The judge revoked Podlucky's bond and ordered federal marshals to take him into custody.
In a related case, Bloch has rescheduled the money laundering trial of Podlucky's wife and son for Oct. 31. Karla and Jesse Podlucky are charged with helping Gregory Podlucky auction off $2.9 million in jewels that he had purchased with money from the LeNature's fraud.
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.
- North Versailles, Murrysville families still waiting for report on 2011 chopper crash that killed couple
- Blaze damages Derry Twp. garage, apartment
- ‘We Are FR’ fund going strong
- Police say Latrobe woman bought gun for boyfriend, who shot neighbor
- Jailed Hribal ‘fine,’ but family ‘terrible’ as answers in stabbing sought
- Scottdale to reconsider use of complaint forms
- Retired postal worker picks $1M winner
- Graziani hired away from Latrobe as Penn Township’s manager
- Judge explains why suspect in East Liberty killings was freed
- Murrysville woman sues Giant Eagle over burns
- Greensburg teen raising money to build homes in Guatemala