A Kenosha man is sentenced to 35 months in prison for bank fraud

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by Jesse Tovar

KENOSHA -- James Scalzo, a 46-year-old man of Kenosha, has been sentenced to 35 months in prison for bank fraud and money laundering schemes.

In January of 2013, Scalzo pled guilty to evidence charging him with a bank fraud scheme and money laundering, and he faced up to 30 years for the bank fraud offense and 20 years on the laundering count.

Between April1, 2008 and October 31, 2009, while employed as a bank officer at Fox River State Bank in Burlington, Wisconsin, and then Consumer's Credit Union in Round Lake Beach, Illinois, Scalzo originated and approved multiple fraudulent loans. He then directed money to be taken from the loans and transferred to accounts in which he had a personal interest.

Some of the loan funds were applied against earlier loans in order to conceal the fraud, with more than $1.4 million in loan funds being involved.

The case not only was an abuse of trust of the financial institutions that employed Scalzo but also caused personal and financial hardship to unknowing citizens. Among the victims was a couple whose home Scalzo had pledged as collateral for one of the fraudulent loans and then allowed to go into foreclosure.

In addition to his 35 months in prison, Scalzo was also ordered to serve three years' supervised release following his time in prison and to pay $200 in special assessments.

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