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A Lansing, N.Y.-based CPA has been sentenced to 86 months in prison stemming from a personal bankruptcy filing in 2004. Andrew N. LaVigne, age 64, ewho owed about $7.6 million to more than unsecured creditors, admitted hiding millions from the bankruptcy court, and to fleecing one elderly investor of $4.6 millon, in a guilty plea this month..

 

Besides receiving the prison sentence, LaVigne was ordered to pay his victims more than $3.6 million in restitution.He sentence stemmed from charges of bankruptcy fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering. The money was stolen through a failed scheme to use investors’ money to purchase sports and entertainment memorabilia for resale. 

During years-long bankruptcy proceedings, the CPA claimed his only asset was his home and returned no money to his investors. However, when he pleaded guilty, LaVigne admitted using his CPA practice’s bank accounts to conceal between $3.5 million and $9.5 million in assets from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and the Office of the Untied States Trustee.

He deposited funds unrelated to his practice into its accounts and used that money for himself and his family, including buying himself sports memorabilia and writing checks to himself totaling tens of thousands of dollars that were never disclosed in his bankruptcy proceedings.

He also admitted that between 2014 and 2016, he persuaded an elderly client to pay $3.6 million for shares of a company that LaVigne created, which LaVigne claimed would develop a piece of waterfront property on Pier Road in Ithaca. After selling her 90 percent of the company, he secured another $1 million from her. Again, he launded the money through his firm's bank accounts. Instead of developing the site, LaVigne again used the client’s money, writing checks for himself, paying for the construction of a house for a family member, and funding payroll for his CPA practice.

Bob Scott
Bob Scott has provided information to the tax and accounting community since 1991, first as technology editor of Accounting Today, and from 1997 through 2009 as editor of its sister publication, Accounting Technology. He is known throughout the industry for his depth of knowledge and for his high journalistic standards.  Scott has made frequent appearances as a speaker, moderator and panelist and events serving tax and accounting professionals. He  has a strong background in computer journalism as an editor with two former trade publications, Computer+Software News and MIS Week and spent several years with weekly and daily newspapers in Morris County New Jersey prior to that.  A graduate of Indiana University with a degree in journalism, Bob is a native of Madison, Ind
Last modified on Monday, 30 September 2019
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