Owner of Medical Equipment Company Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud Charge
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 20, 2013|
ST. LOUIS, MO—Michael Edward Filmore pled guilty to a multi-million dollar bank fraud against Pulaski Bank over several years while operating a medical equipment sales firm. In his plea agreement, Filmore admitted to fabricating and altering brokerage account records that purportedly showed he had millions of dollars in securities that he agreed to pledge as collateral for his outstanding loans, including a $1,000,000 revolving line of credit. Ultimately, Filmore obtained more than $6 million from Pulaski through the fraud scheme and currently owes Pulaski more than $5 million. None of the security pledged by Filmore, in the form of securities accounts or purported valuable medical equipment, existed as was represented to the bank.
According to court documents, Filmore was a borrower from Pulaski Bank and had at least 15 outstanding loans with a total balance owed of more than $6 million by late 2013. Most of these loans are held in the name of Filmore’s company, Healthcare Partners Group LLC. Over the course of Filmore’s relationship with Pulaski, which spanned many years, it was Pulaski’s understanding that he was engaged in the brokerage of medical equipment. Filmore often needed to finance the acquisition of equipment, which he sold and leased to his customers.
On November 1, 2013, Pulaski personnel determined that purchase order and account information associated with a new loan was suspicious. Further investigation by the bank revealed fictitious information had been submitted to the bank. Discovering these discrepancies, Pulaski cancelled the wire transfer of funds and reported the matter to authorities. A criminal complaint was filed against Filmore in federal court on November 16, 2013.
Filmore, of Chesterfield, Missouri, pled guilty to one felony count of bank fraud before United States District Judge Audrey G. Fleissig, who set sentencing for March 18, 2014.
This charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and/or fines up to $1 million. In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), in cooperation with the executive staff of Pulaski Bank, who offered essential support to the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Tom Albus is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.