Judge sets Podlucky restitution at $661 million

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Gregory J. Podlucky, former CEO of Le-Nature's Inc., owes more than $661 million in restitution to lenders and investors hurt by the 2006 collapse of the Latrobe-based beverage maker, U.S. District Judge Alan N. Bloch ruled Monday.

The 51-year-old Ligonier man, who was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison, owes Wachovia Bank $236 million, Manufacturers Traders Trust Co. $156 million, and CIT Group/Equipment Financing Inc. $112 million, plus millions more to other entities, according to the judge's order.

It's doubtful they'll collect more than a tiny fraction of that. The Podlucky family's once-extensive jewelry collection has been confiscated by federal authorities, and Mr. Podlucky's wife and one son are defending against money laundering charges.

Judge Bloch ordered that half of Mr. Podlucky's earnings from any prison job be taken for restitution, as well as 20 percent of whatever he earns after release.

Judge Bloch found that five other business associates, all of whom have yet to be sentenced, also may have to contribute.


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