PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A city real estate developer pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Springfield of defrauding Greylock Federal Credit Union.
Jeffrey Pierce, 51, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to receive money through transactions of a credit union with intent to defraud the credit union and make false statements to a federal credit union.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, between 2005 and 2008 a former Greylock Federal Credit Union vice president authorized some $4 million in loans and loan modifications to Pierce and his five real estate development companies.
While the office didn't name the banker on Wednesday, in 2014 Michael Dicenzo pleaded guilty to related charges in the case. Dicenzo worked at Greylock as a commercial loan officer from 2004 until 2009 and faced eight counts of fraud and a single count of making false statements to federal officials.
The loans issued to Pierce were in violation of the credit union's policies and caused the credit union to release funds "far in excess of what Pierce and his companies could reasonably receive or repay," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
In exchange, the U.S. Attorney's Office alleges Pierce agreed to provide the former vice president with $134,773 in check payments to a "front company" created by the Greylock employee — those payments derived from Greylock loans — free use of a home constructed by Pierce's companies, and free use of a vehicle — also purchased with Greylock loans.
In 2010, Pierce is accused of falsely stating to Greylock that the money paid from his company to the "front company" were payments for design work that the vice president's wife provided to Pierce for construction projects. Law enforcement said those statements were made based on the urging of the former vice president.
The conspiracy charge against Pierce carries a prison sentence of up to five years, a fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release. U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni scheduled sentencing for Oct. 3, 2018.
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