Ex-used car salesman pleads guilty in fraud

MYRTLE BEACH (AP) — A former Myrtle Beach used car salesman has agreed to plead guilty to bank fraud in a case in which authorities say he orchestrated a scheme costing local financial institutions millions of dollars.

The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reports Harry “Howie” Lavin III is scheduled to formalize his plea agreement during a hearing on Tuesday in federal court in Florence.

Under the agreement, Lavin is to pay more than $7 million in restitution. The financial institutions say they lost up to $8.6 million.

The indictment said Lavin made dozens of deposits and withdrawals at the two institutions to maintain the scheme. According to the indictment, those institutions gave immediate credit on the deposits, allowing Lavin to artificially inflate account balances and write new checks against those that hadn’t cleared.

Ex-used car salesman pleads guilty in fraud case