Howie Lavin pleads guilty to major check kiting scheme - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Howie Lavin pleads guilty to major check kiting scheme

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – On Tuesday morning, former Myrtle Beach car dealer Howie Lavin stood before a federal magistrate and pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud for his role in a major check kiting scheme.

Read anchor David Klugh's in-depth investigative report on Howie Lavin's case here: http://bit.ly/ICubIE

Howie Lavin was indicted in September on charges he ran a lucrative check kiting scheme for nearly a decade.  It's a case that could involve the biggest instance of financial fraud in Myrtle Beach history.

Crescom Bank and Carolina Trust Federal Credit Union say Lavin stole more than $8 million over a period of years  by inflating his account balance through the use of bad checks. Lavin is being asked to repay that money, and he's also facing 30 years in federal prison. That sentence could be modified once prosecutors consider all the facts in the case.

Lavin said in court that today's plea means the beginning of the end of a long journey. He said that he hurt a lot of people, and he's sorry for it.

Despite the sentencing guidelines, under the plea deal, Lavin's attorney has asked for less than 10 years. It could take up to two months for prosecutors to come up with the recommended sentence for Lavin. A judge will make the final decision.

WMBF News will let you know the moment that sentence is handed down.

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