Ex-SC car salesman ordered to pay $8M restitution

(Photo by Jay Karr,

FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) - A former Myrtle Beach used car salesman has been sentenced to more than 6 years in prison in a bank fraud scheme authorities say cost local financial institutions millions of dollars.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said Friday 53-year-old Harry Lavin III has also been ordered to pay more than $8.5 million in restitution.

Lavin pleaded guilty last year to bank fraud. Authorities say he made dozens of deposits and withdrawals at two institutions to maintain the scheme.

According to the indictment, those institutions gave immediate credit on the deposits, allowing Lavin to artificially inflate account balances and write new checks against those that hadn't cleared.

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