Former Business Owner Charged with Fraud

ROCKFORD (WIFR) – A former Sandwich, Ill. Business owner was indicted by a federal grand jury in Rockford on fraud and false statement charges.

Steven Moorhouse, 60, who was president and majority owner of Jefsco Manufacturing Co., Inc., a manufacturing business known as Fanplastic Molding Company, was charged with four counts of bank fraud and two counts of making a false statement to a financial institution.

According to the indictment, during July 2009, Moorhouse sought a new lender to make business loans to Jefsco and began to provide Jefsco financial information to Old Second National Bank in Aurora, Illinois. It is alleged that Moorhouse falsely overstated the value of the accounts receivable owed to Jefsco by hundreds of thousands of dollars, including a balance due to Jefsco of $624,000, influencing Old Second National Bank to make a loan to Jefsco. On December 2, 2009, Jefsco signed two promissory notes and related loan documents to receive two loans totaling $1,350,000. As a condition for making the loans, the bank required Jefsco to pledge its accounts receivable as collateral to the bank for the loans and required that all payments made to Jefsco for accounts receivable were to have been deposited into a Jefsco account at Old Second National Bank.

The indictment alleges that during late 2009 and early 2010 Moorhouse deposited Jefsco accounts receivable payments into an account at another financial institution thereby defrauding the bank and depriving of its collateral.

Moorhouse is scheduled to appear at the Federal Courthouse in Rockford on Thursday, May 9, 2009 at 11 a.m. for arraignment.
Each count of bank fraud and each count of making a false statement to a financial institution carries a penalty of up to 30 years in prison, a fine of up to $1 million, and a term of supervised release of up to five years following imprisonment. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines, as well as restitution.

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