Leavenworth business owner pleads guilty to bank fraud

A Leavenworth woman who owned businesses in the Kansas City area pleaded guilty Tuesday to bank fraud in U.S. District Court, U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said.

Brenda Wood, 49, Leavenworth, Kan., pleaded guilty to two counts of bank fraud. In her plea, she admitted she made false statements to Farmers Bank in Great Bend.

She told the bank that her company, Professional Cleaning and Innovative Building Services (PCI), had received a contract to provide cleaning services at an Internal Revenue Service building in Kansas City, Mo.

In fact, the company did not receive the contract and did not even make the final round of bids, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. As a result, the bank extended a $350,000 line of credit. Wood submitted draw requests to the bank, falsely stating that the funds were needed to fulfill the contract.

In another incident, Wood created a check kiting scheme to artificially inflate her bank account balances. She exchanged and cross-deposited more than 473 insufficient fund checks between her accounts at Capital Federal Savings, Intrust Bank and the Credit Union of Leavenworth County, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Sentencing is set for Jan. 17. Both parties have agreed to recommend a sentence of 78 months in federal prison and restitution of at least $4.6 million.

Beall commended the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, the Special Investigator General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration, the FBI and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jabari Wamble for their work on the case.

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