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Lafayette business owner sentenced to prison for stealing nearly $300,000

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Posted at 5:36 PM, Jul 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-18 18:36:57-04

LAFAYETTE — A Lafayette business owner was sentenced to prison for stealing nearly $300,000 from three finance companies, according to United States Attorney David C. Joseph.

On Thursday, 56-year-old Leonard Espree formerly of Lafayette, was sentenced to 20 months in prison and five years of supervised release for stealing nearly $300,000 from three finance companies. Espree was also ordered to pay $294,292.12 restitution.

He pleaded guilty April 3, 2019.

Espree was the owner and operator of Ameritek Office Solutions in Lafayette, which sold and serviced office equipment. Espree was found guilty for submitting false documentation in the names of existing local businesses to three finance companies in 2015 and 2016 to obtain payment for office equipment supposedly supplied to these businesses.

The three companies approved eight of the transactions for which Espree received a total of $294,292.12 however, Espree never sold or delivered equipment to any of the businesses.