Financier Michael Carlow Sentenced To Jail For Bank Fraud
PITTSBURGH (AP) _ The former owner of the Clark candy bar company was sentenced Thursday to eight years in prison for a check-kiting scheme that defrauded PNC Bank of $31.3 million.
Michael Carlow, 45, also was ordered by U.S. District Judge Donald Ziegler to pay about $1.4 million dollars in restitution to the company and back taxes to the federal government.
Carlow had pleaded guilty to bank fraud, conspiracy, falsifying income tax returns, wire fraud and embezzlement. He admitted floating $31 million worth of bad checks.
The FBI investigated Carlow after PNC Bank alleged some of his companies wrote millions of dollars of bad checks to each other, creating the illusion of large balances in PNC accounts.
Prosecutors charged Carlow used some of the money to pay the debts of his companies and the rest for personal expenses, like renovating his Boston condominium and leasing a jet.
Carlow once controlled Pittsburgh Brewing Co. and D.L. Clark Co., both of which were ailing before he bought and restored them in the early 1990s.
PNC Bank bank recovered some of its losses by selling Carlow’s collateral, but prosecutors have said the bank was still short about $17 million.