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Swisshelm resentenced for $5.6M fraud scheme

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Former restaurateur Bruce Swisshelm was resentenced yesterday for a $5.6 million bank fraud scheme for which he pleaded guilty in July 2015.

Swisshelm, 70, of Battlefield, yesterday was sentenced to five years in federal prison without parole and ordered to pay full restitution to Great Southern Bank, according to a news release.

The business owner originally was sentenced in January 2016 to one year and one day in prison for the fraud scheme, but the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled in February he must be resentenced because his defense team argued for a lesser sentencing than the plea deal spelled out.

Swisshelm previously admitted he submitted false documents to Great Southern in order to obtain four commercial loans totaling $5.6 million between February and June 2011. Documents included financial statements indicating his businesses earned $780,000 in net income during 2010. According to tax documents submitted by Swisshelm to the IRS, the companies lost more than $1.8 million in that time.

According to the release, Swisshelm failed to make his minimum payment requirements. He later asked the bankruptcy court to excuse the $5.6 million loan from Great Southern, but his request was denied.

Swisshelm’s March 2012 Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing set off a string of closures, including Macaroni Grill and the south-side Ebbets Field.


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