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Business owner sentenced for check kiting, embezzlement

  • Article by: Dan Browning
  • September 20, 2012 - 11:19 AM

Triangle Warehouse and trucking company owner George Wintz Jr. was sentenced Thursday to 3 1/2 years in federal prison for check kiting and embezzlement schemes.

Wintz , of Minneapolis, was found guilty in April of two counts of bank fraud and one count of embezzlement for taking money from his employees' retirement plan.

Wintz, who owns or controls three Minneapolis trucking and warehouse companies, had been found guilty in connection with wrong-doing at Pinehurst Bank in St. Paul.

He wrote batches of checks between various business accounts at Pinehurst and Northstar Bank, inflating the account balances.

Some Wintz family members and employees were recruited to get $1.9 million in "nominee loans" from Pinehurst to provide cover for Wintz and for the bank. Had his Pinehurst overdrafts gone uncovered, it would have greatly exceeded the small bank's lending limits, prompting regulators to shut it down.

Regulators closed the bank last year and sold it to La Crosse, Wis.-based Coulee Bank, which moved the branch to another St. Paul location.

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