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Truck dealer admits defrauding lender

A Decatur man pleaded guilty to one count of a multicount bank fraud indictment this week in U.S. District Court in Fort Wayne.

Harold Klinker, who is in his late 40s, admitted to defrauding a bank out of money he obtained for loans to his truck dealership. Trucks Unlimited on Hillegas Road cost First Merchants Bank more than $300,000 in losses between December 2006 and November 2008, according to court documents filed Wednesday.

The bank extended a $1.5 million floor plan line of credit to Klinker, to be used to acquire vehicles to sell on the lot. When car dealers sell vehicles, they must notify banks and repay money lent to the dealers to buy the vehicles.

The profit to the dealership is the difference between the sale price of the vehicle and the money owed to the bank by the dealer for that specific vehicle, according to court documents.

But according to court documents, Klinker would occasionally misrepresent the purchase price of the vehicles acquired for sale, and in other instances, Klinker sold the vehicle but never told the bank or repaid the money.

Klinker pleaded guilty to the first count of a seven-count indictment handed down in 2010.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Klinker must repay $150,000 in restitution, though he and the government agree that the amount of the loss to the bank was $331,860.

A civil case is pending against Klinker in Adams County.

A sentencing date has not been set.

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