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Lafayette businessman pleads guilty to stealing from finance companies

Posted at 11:29 AM, Apr 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-04 12:29:37-04

A Lafayette businessman pleaded guilty in federal court to stealing nearly $300,000 from finance companies.

Leonard Espree, 55, was the owner and operator of Ameritek Office Solutions in Lafayette, selling and servicing office equipment.

He admitted to submitting false documentation, using local businesses, to three finance companies to obtain payment for office equipment. The finance companies approved eight of the fake applications, paying Espree more than $294,000. Espree admitted that he never sold or delivered the equipment to any of the businesses.

Chief U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. accepted Espree’s guilty plea to one count of wire fraud, and set sentencing for July 10.

Espree faces up to 30 years in prison, five years of supervised release and $1 million in fines.

The FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. Ayo is prosecuting the case.