Court orders seizure of Lonzinski Construction collateral

BY STACI WILSON

Property used as loan collateral by the owner of a Susquehanna County construction company with Peoples Neighborhood Bank was seized Friday after a hearing in front of President Judge Kenneth Seamans.

On the stand, PNB Chief Credit Officer Joseph Ferretti said the bank considered two loans made to Scott Lonzinski, owner of Scott Lonzinski Construction Corp., Montrose, to be in default after the bank was notified earlier this month of a federal investigation into Lonzinski’s business dealings.

The Albany, N.Y. division of the FBI did not confirm nor deny any investigation on Friday.

Ferretti said Lonzinski listed the equipment and vehicles seized on personal and corporate disclosure statements filed at the bank in November 2010.

Ferretti said that on June 7, Peoples was contacted by federal credit union bank examiners regarding certificates of deposit from PNB used by Lonzinski at BCT Credit Union to secure loans.

He told the court that those cd’s were not held at Peoples and said the signature on the notes given to BCT were not valid.

Ferretti said that on June 9 he was interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) regarding suspected fraud by Lonzinski to secure loans at BCT.

Ferretti said that Peoples then became suspicious that some of the bank’s collateral may be put at risk by the investigation.

He also said the FBI informed PNB reps that funds in Lonzinski’s name at Honesdale National Bank had been seized.

There are two loans in question at PNB amounting to about $942,000 combined, Ferretti said.

He said the bank was alleging Lonzinksi was in default based on information he provided in a personal and corporate financial statement list of collateral he had provided to the bank.

Ferretti said that upon looking into those listings, the bank found several items listed that actually were not Lonzinski’s but were, in fact, his grandfather’s equipment.

The untrue statements made on the financial disclosure statement, Ferretti told the court, would put Lonzinski in default of the loans.

Lonzinski also deposited a $150,000 check, drawn on Honesdale National Bank, that was returned for insufficient funds. Ferretti said that “causes great concern to the bank,”

Ferretti said that the FBI told him the law enforcement agency would “go after all of the assets owned by Scott Lonzinski. Based on that (PNB) felt our collateral was in jeopardy.

The bank seized $88,000 in Lonzinski’s business account, Ferretti said. Those funds were used to pay down Lonzinski’s line of credit with the bank.

Lonzinski’s attorneys disputed the seizure of some of the equipment and vehicles listed by the bank.