Family of bankrupt W. Pa. soft drink CEO on trial

October 31, 2011 - 9:10 PM

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The wife and son of the former head of a bankrupt soft drink maker have gone to trial on money laundering charges.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the trial of Karla S. Podlucky and G. Jesse Podlucky began Monday in western Pennsylvania. That's less than two weeks after former Le-Nature CEO Gregory Podlucky was sentenced to 20 years in prison for masterminding the scheme.

Podlucky's wife and son are charged with buying gold, sapphires and even patio furniture with proceeds stolen from the company, then trying to sell them through a New York auction house. They've pleaded not guilty.

Authorities say the bankrupt Latrobe beverage maker got $800 million in loans by inflating earnings reports. They say $33 million of that was siphoned off to buy jewelry for Karla Podlucky.