Couple Pleads Guilty To Defrauding Bank Of $2.5 Million

(COVINGTON, KY) -- A Lawrenceburg, Ind. couple pled guilty on Tuesday to conspiring to defraud First National Bank in Northern Kentucky of more than $2.5 million.

John Van Winkle, 60, and Linda Van Winkle, 59, admitted to making false statements in loan applications and to conspiring with former president Richard Thomas to arrange for "nominee" loans to be made through the bank in the names of various family members supposedly for legitimate business purposes. However, investigators say the loans were actually intended for the Van Winkles.

The couple admitted to spending in excess of $2.5 million on personal items out of approximately $4.5 millino lent to them. These events occurred between March 23, 2000 and July 31, 2002.

Two other members of the conspiracy, Toni James and John Edwards, have already entered guilty pleas in the couse of this investigation.

The trial for all is scheduled to begin June 2, 2008.

The Van Winkles each face up to 30 years in prison, a fine of up to $1 million and five years of supervised release, plus restitution to First National Bank.