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Ex-Vann's executive faces over 200 federal criminal counts - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Ex-Vann's executive faces over 200 federal criminal counts

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MISSOULA -

A former Missoula executive is pleading "not guilty" to more than 200 federal criminal counts including fraud, conspiracy and money laundering stemming from his management of Vann's - what was a Montana owned appliance and electronics store.

Former CEO George Manlove entered the plea this week in U.S. District Court. MTN News looked through the indictment for a close look at what charges Manlove now faces.

In the more than 40 page document, A grand jury accuses former Vann's Manlove of more than 120 counts of wire fraud, more than 80 counts of money laundering along with conspiracy, bank fraud, bankruptcy fraud and making false statements.

Manlove is accused of defrauding Vann's employees, two banks, the Vann's bankruptcy estate and other creditors, lenders and former employees. He was hired as the CEO in May of 2006 - with court papers indicating he was required to keep the board informed off all expenditures and keep accurate, detailed financial records.

Instead, the conspiracy charges outline how Manlove and uncharged co-conspirator and former Vann's CFO Paul Nisbet concealed the true financial condition of the company to hide what they were really doing with the money.

The documents list unauthorized personal expenses including club memberships and family trips. Prosecutors claim Manlove had Vann's pay thousands of dollars in tuition for his master's degree and traded Vann's merchandise for things like diamond earrings and a Rolex watch.

Prosecutors also claim Manlove formed third-party "shell companies" to get loans to buy property then lease them back to Vann's for in "lease back" schemes.

Court papers document how by July 2011, Manlove emailed Vann's managers to tell them the company was in financial peril and facing imminent
bankruptcy but claim he continued to spend company money without authorization.

Manlove is set to return to court next week for a pre-trial conference and if convicted on the charges  he faces millions of dollars in fines and years in prison.


(original story)

A former Missoula executive is pleading "not guilty" to over 200 federal criminal counts including fraud, conspiracy and money laundering stemming from his management of Vann's, the family-owned appliance store which went out business three years ago.

Former Vann's CEO George Manlove entered the plea this week in U.S. District Court.

Prosecutors charged Manlove right before Christmas after a federal indictment was handed down, outlining accusations stemming from his running of Vann's starting in January in 2006 until he left the store as the business was driven into bankruptcy.

The charges include conspiracy, wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements, bankruptcy fraud, money laundering and forfeiture allegations.

He's accused of defrauding Vann's employees, First Interstate Bank, Treasure State Bank, the Vann's bankruptcy estate and other creditors, lenders and former employees.

Prosecutors say Manlove used the money to form his own LLC and pay for personal expenses including jewelry, club memberships and family trips. They say he also falsified documents to make Vann's financial position look better than it actually was.

Manlove is set to return to court next week for a pretrial conference.

Vann's started in the 1960s, eventually growing to include stores in Missoula, Hamilton, Kalispell and other Montana cities. 

RELATED: Vann's being investigated by the FBI

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