Aformer San Fernando Valley mobile-home dealer pleaded innocent Monday to charges that he bilked Great Western Savings & Loan out of nearly $300,000 in 1981 by filing false loan applications, the U.S. attorney's office announced.
William Joseph Sere, 47, formerly of Chatsworth, had been missing since 1982 until his arrest last Oct. 24 by FBI agents in Houston.
Sere, who entered his plea in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, faces a maximum penalty of 18 years in prison and a $45,000 fine if convicted on all nine counts against him.
According to a federal indictment issued in April, Sere obtained money from Great Western's Northridge branch for mobile homes that were not actually sold. He allegedly got the money by submitting customers' credit applications to the S&L.