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Soft-Drink Execs Plead Guilty To $800M Fraud

Thu, 05/26/2011 - 9:54am

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Two men have admitted taking part in a massive scheme to defraud banks and investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars through a now-defunct western Pennsylvania soft-drink company.

Jonathan Podlucky and Donald Pollinger pleaded guilty Thursday to charges stemming from a scheme that cost investors in Latrobe-based Le-Nature's Inc. more than $800 million.

Podlucky was the chief operation officer of the soft-drink company and brother of the scheme's alleged mastermind, Gregory Podlucky. Pollinger ran a Charlotte, N.C.-based equipment company that authorities said shifted money to Le-Nature's so it could be claimed as revenue.

Gregory Podlucky and two others are scheduled for trial in July.

Jonathan Podlucky and Pollinger both agreed to serve five-year prison sentences. Their attorneys have declined to say whether their clients would testify against Gregory Podlucky.

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