Posted Thursday, November 8, 2012 --- 9:42 a.m.
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- A Wisconsin bottling equipment firm has agreed to pay a $15 million penalty to avoid prosecution for its alleged role in the massive accounting fraud involving defunct western Pennsylvania soft-drink maker, Le-Nature's.
Officials with Krones Inc., in Franklin, Wisc., say they plan to release a statement later Thursday.
Federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh say the penalty will resolve allegations that Krones helped Le-Nature's officials to deceive lenders about the cost of bottling equipment the soft-drink company financed. Authorities say Krones must also repay lenders who lost money, meaning the non-prosecution agreement will cost Krones about $125 million total.
Le-Nature's founder Gregory Podlucky is serving a 20-year sentence for masterminding an accounting scheme in which the company fraudulently obtained $875 million in credit and equipment leases before creditors forced Le-Nature's into bankruptcy in 2006.
Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.