Family Charged in Major Fraud Scheme of Local Credit Union

By Lindsay Nielsen

August 21, 2012 Updated Aug 21, 2012 at 6:30 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) A Pennsylvania family is charged for one of the largest fraud schemes ever prosecuted by the Northern District U.S. Attorney's office.

Scott Lonzinski, 32, of Clifford Township and his mother, 46-year-old Laura Conarton of Great Bend pled guilty to felony charges of bank fraud Tuesday.

The mother son duo from Pennsylvania fraudulently obtained ten loans from the Broome County Teacher's Federal Credit Union known as BCT.

The amount came to more than fourteen million dollars from 2009 to 2011.

The money was spent on Lonzinki's construction business, work vehicles and personal vehicles for Scott and Laura.

Also, to purchase and remodel Lonzinski's home, and to pay personal expenses for themselves and other family members.

"They represented that there was collateral in the form of certificates of deposit that could act as security for the loans and so false documents were prepared indicating that there were CD's on deposit in another financial institution and this convinced and satisfied the requirements of the Broome County Teacher's Federal Credit Union," says U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian for the Northern District of New York.

"If something seems too good to be true it probably is. The subjects in this case their actions were similar to a ponzi scheme so they take someones money and they pay them back some interest. In reality they're only returning a small portion of the funds that had been stolen," says Special Agent with the FBI Albany Division, Cliff Holly.

The Broome County Teacher's Federal Credit Union was liquidated due to the fraud and sold to Visions Federal Credit Union.

The U.S. Attorney's office for the Northern District of New York has regained around 6 million dollars back from the two in assets including bank accounts, property and vehicles.

The pair faces up to 30 years in prison when sentenced in December.