Area Businessmen Guilty of Fraud

Two North Lima business owners were convicted in a $3.6 million check kiting scheme.

Timothy Kephart, 54, of Morrisdale, and Mark Michael, 55, were found guilty by U.S. District Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland on one count of conspiring to commit bank fraud and bank fraud.

Kephart was the Chief Executive Officer and Michael the Chief Financial Officer of Dart Trucking. They will be sentenced Sept. 4.

A third business partner, Lee Stoneburner, 64, of Columbiana, the company president, previously pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme and is awaiting sentencing.

The men wrote a series of worthless, non-sufficient funds checks from one account to another. Another bad check would then be written to cover the first bad check to conceal the overdraft and a false balance was created.

The men then used the fake balances to pay the company’s bills, expenses and employee’s salaries, according to prosecutors.

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