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Man Sentenced to Prison in Fraud

October 06, 1994

WOODLAND HILLS — The former president of a fire protection company has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for defrauding five banks of $1 million in loans.

Benjamin Klinger, 33, of Woodland Hills was convicted by a federal jury in March of lying on a loan application, mail fraud and money laundering, according to Assistant U. S. Atty. David F. Taylor.

Klinger was sentenced Tuesday in Los Angeles by U. S. District Court Judge Laughlin E. Waters.

The prosecutor said evidence from an FBI investigation showed that Klinger, president and majority owner of Best Fire Protection in the San Fernando Valley, lied about his finances on applications to five banks to get a mortgage loan.

Klinger provided the banks with fake income tax returns and exaggerated his personal income, Taylor said, adding that Klinger also lied about the gross sales of his fire protection business.

In addition, Klinger also laundered "hundreds of thousands of dollars" from the illegal schemes, using money from one loan to persuade banks to make additional loans, according to the U. S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles.

Klinger was also ordered to pay $790,000 in restitution to the banks.

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