BINGHAMTON, NY -- A Susquehanna County man who pleaded guilty to bilking financial institutions out of millions of dollars was sentenced in federal court in Binghamton, New York Wednesday.
Scott Lonzinski of Susquehanna County walked out of the federal courthouse in Binghamton, New York on Wednesday.
In court, the judge sentenced Lonzinski to five years in prison for stealing more than $14 million from a credit Union.
Lonzinski and his mother, Laura Conarton, admit fabricating documents that showed they could pay back loans they said would be used for Lonzinski's construction business.
Prosecutors said that instead, the pair used much of the money for personal expenses, expensive cars, and land.
Some folks who followed the case said Lonzinski's a five year prison sentence is just not good enough.
"He should have gotten at least 25 for that, that was ridiculous," said Larry Lord of New Milford.
"It makes me feel really sad and five years is not enough," said Diane Schrader of Binghamton, New York.
In federal court, the judge called what Lonzinski and his mother did, "horrendous."
At one point, the mother-son duo held 1/3 of the assets for the Broome County Teachers' Credit Union in Binghamton, and that eventually caused the longtime credit union to go bust.
The judge did call Lonzinski a good person and hard worker who was just in over his head.
Lonzinski's attorney agrees.
"He's a really nice guy who made one of the biggest mistakes I've ever seen. Scott really truly believed he was going to be able to pay it back, and the judge may have been right that he never would have been able to, but his businesses were generating income," said Joe D'Andrea, Lonzinski's attorney.
In court, Scott Lonzinski stood up and spoke, he said he was sorry and didn't believe it would go this far. Some folks we spoke with said he was old enough to know better and they were not too forgiving.
"And people trusted him, and it's like you know when you trust somebody, that's just a betrayal," said Diane Schrader of Binghamton, New York.
Scott Lonzinski will spend the next five years behind bars and five years on probation, and was ordered to pay back the $14 million.
His attorney said much of it has already been returned in forfeitures.
Lonzinski's mother, Laura Conarton, is scheduled for sentencing Thursday morning at the federal courthouse in Binghamton.