Navy FCU Taken For $550,000 Ride In Phony Auto Loan Scheme

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NORFOLK, Va. – A local tax accountant this week pleaded guilty to helping dozens of people file phony auto loan applications with Navy FCU on behalf of his tax preparation clients, a scam that drained more than $550,000 from the credit union.

Donald Lawson, 46, on Monday pleaded guilty in federal court to bank fraud and filing false tax returns. A co-conspirator, 43-year-old Lawrence Pettaway, pleaded guilty earlier this year and will be sentenced July 7.

Lawson filed fake documents to obtain used car loans from Navy Federal in 2007 and 2008. Instead of buying vehicles, Lawson gave some of the money to Pettaway and to his clients, and kept the rest.

Lawson’s sentencing is set for Sept. 26.


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