Diamondhead man pleads guilty in truck-buying scheme

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GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) – A Diamondhead man has pleaded guilty to bank fraud, admitting that he inflated the cost of trucks he was buying to get extra money from lenders.

U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst in Gulfport said Tuesday that Louis Normand Jr., 60, of Diamondhead could get up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr. scheduled sentencing Oct. 6.

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According to a press release from U.S. Attorney’s Office, Normand owned businesses involved in the sale of trucks called National Truck Funding and American Truck Group.  From 2013 until 2017, he purchased well over 100 18-wheeler trucks for resale.

During that time, he received financing from a local bank, as well as private lenders, for 80% of the sales price.  In order to increase the amount of the loan and decrease the amount of his down payment, he created false invoices inflating the sales price and, therefore, the amount of the loans he received.  Over this period, he was loaned almost $5,000,000, which was approximately 130% of the actual purchase price of the vehicles.

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