Former car dealer Harry Lavin to plead guilty to bank fraud charge

Harry Lavin a former used car salesman on Wednesday agreed that he would plead guilty to one felony charge of bank fraud in a case where he orchestrated a long-running check-kiting scheme that cost local financial institutions millions of dollars.

On Tuesday during a court hearing in federal court in Florence Lavin, who is free on an unsecured $20,000 bond, will formalize his plea agreement

The chrarge of bank fraud carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison as well as a $1 million fine, although the plea agreement indicates prosecutors will seek a prison term of anywhere between 70 months and 87 months for the 53-year-old Lavin. The plea agreement also calls for Lavin to pay more than $7 million in restitution.

Tommy Brittain, the Myrtle Beach lawyer representing Lavin, could not be reached for comment

Lavin was ndicted on the bank fraud charge in September and has pleaded guilty during his arraignment hearing in October. A sentencing hearing has not been scheduled.

The guilty plea will apparently clears the way for resumption of a separate civil lawsuit in which CresCom Bank accuses Lavin Cars and its owners – Howie Lavin as well as his brother, John Lavin of defaulting on a loan of more than $1.9 million. Brittain has asked a state judge to halt proceedings in that case because Lavin had not yet pleaded guilty to the criminal charge.

CresCom Bank and Carolina Trust Federal Credit Union were the two financial institutions that lost money in the check-kiting scheme.

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