Trials & Litigation

Ex-CEO blames lawyer for 20-year prison term in $800M fraud case, seeks do-over


Saying his lawyer misled him about the terms of a potential plea deal, the former CEO of LeNature’s Inc. has moved to vacate his 20-year federal prison term and is seeking to unseal the transcript of a sidebar hearing at sentencing in the Pittsburgh case that he says will prove his contention.

Gregory Podlucky, 53, pleaded guilty in 2011 to federal bank, mail and wire fraud charges; conspiracy; and tax evasion in connection with the looting of some $800 million from the Latrobe, Pa.-based beverage company he used to head, the Tribune-Review reports.

His original lawyer, Tom Ceraso, died before the change of plea. Podlucky says the terms of the plea deal the government promised are different than the plea he was misled into accepting.

Attorney Alexander Lindsay Jr., who took over his defense after Ceraso’s death, declined to comment.

Podlucky’s wife and son also were sentenced to time for money laundering, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette detailed in an article last year.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “K&L Gates Missed ‘Massive Fraud’; Its Probe of Co. a ‘Stunning Failure,’ Suit Says”

ABAJournal.com: “Appeals Court OKs Trustee’s $500M Suit Blaming K&L Gates for Missing Massive Fraud”

Tribune-Review: “Laywer unqualified to handle former Latrobe tea company’s probe, trustee says”

Tribune-Review: “Podlucky sentenced to 20 years in prison”

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