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COUNTYWIDE FOCUS

Man Sentenced to Prison in Bank Fraud

April 18, 1994|PHYLLIS W. JORDAN

A Beverly Hills man whose bad checks cost Ventura County-based Bank of A. Levy $212,000 received a two-year federal prison sentence last week for writing checks on a nonexistent bank account at a nonexistent bank.

David Alan Wolfson, 38, was also ordered to repay $30,000 in the sentence handed down Friday by U. S. District Judge John G. Davies in Los Angeles.

The bank fraud case dates to 1989, when Wolfson agreed to invest in a business venture with a Camarillo man, Stuart J. Levy, who is not related to Bank of A. Levy founders.

From January to March, Wolfson gave Stuart Levy six cashier's checks worth $260,000, purportedly drawn on a Canadian bank called Western Pacific Overseas Bank. Stuart Levy then cashed the checks at the Bank of A. Levy.

"They tried to find the bank to honor the cashier's check and, much to their chagrin, discovered there was no bank," Assistant U. S. Atty. Peter G. Spivack said.

Investigators found that Wolfson's bank was "a sham institution with no assets and conducted no business operations," according to an FBI release.

It was not even incorporated, Spivack said.

By the time that the Ventura County bank discovered Wolfson's fraud, Stuart Levy had already committed much of the money. He has not been charged in the case and was not aware of the fraud, the FBI said.

Wolfson was indicted in September on six counts of federal bank fraud charges and pleaded guilty to one count in January in U. S. District Court.

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