COVINGTON, Ky., July 1 (UPI) -- A Kentucky entrepreneur and his wife have pleaded guilty and apologized for their loan fraud, which almost caused the collapse of their local bank.
John "Rip" Van Winkle and his wife, Linda, made their apologies before U.S. District Judge David Bunning, who then sentenced them to two years in prison. Each will have to serve 85 percent of the sentence and then be on probation for five years, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Tuesday.
The Van Winkles pleaded guilty to conspiring with others, including the former bank president, Richard Thomas, to defraud the First National Bank of Northern Kentucky of more than $2.5 million.
Making false statements on loan applications and conspiring with Thomas to get loans totaling $4.5 million in family members' names from March 2000, the couple spent more than $2.5 million on personal items including multiple homes, luxury cars and extravagant gifts for their family, officials said.
The Van Winkles are cooperating with the government in the prosecution of Thomas, who pleaded guilty in May and is scheduled for sentencing in August.