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Hungarian Citizen Extradited to United States to Face Charges Related to Alleged 1997 Fraud Scheme

U.S. Attorney’s Office April 08, 2009
  • District of Connecticut (203) 821-3700

Nora R. Dannehy, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that ATTILA B. KNOTH, 49, a citizen of Hungary formerly residing in Hartford, appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Thomas P. Smith in Hartford yesterday, April 7, and entered pleas of not guilty to two counts of bank fraud, three counts of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud. The charges stem from an alleged scheme to defraud two banks and a finance company of nearly $600,000 in 1997.

On May 22, 2002, a federal grand jury sitting in New Haven returned a six-count Indictment charging KNOTH, whose whereabouts were unknown at that time. In October 2008, KNOTH was located in Germany and detained by German authorities on the arrest warrant issued by the U.S. District Court in Connecticut following KNOTH’s Indictment. KNOTH was extradited to the United States on April 2.

The Indictment alleges that, in 1997, KNOTH owned and operated a dental laboratory, Interdental Studio, located for a time at 810 Maple Avenue in Hartford and later at 333 Pleasant Valley Road in South Windsor. The Indictment alleges that KNOTH defrauded Fleet Bank (now Bank of America), and Webster Bank by submitting false financial information to the financial institutions to induce them to loan to him and Interdental Studio a total of $275,000, purportedly for working capital and cash flow management. Instead of using the money for working capital, it is alleged that KNOTH wire transferred a significant portion of the money he received from the banks to an account held by him at Swiss Bank Corporation in Zurich, Switzerland, and failed to repay the victim banks.

The Indictment further alleges that KNOTH also provided false information to Matsco Financial Corporation, a California-based equipment financing company. Based on that information, Matsco provided KNOTH with approximately $300,000 in financing for the purchase of dental equipment, cabinetry, office furnishings, and improvements to the Interdental laboratory in South Windsor. It is alleged that over the 1997 Thanksgiving holiday weekend, KNOTH moved the dental equipment, cabinetry and office furnishings from the South Windsor location to an unknown location, and failed to repay Matsco.

If convicted of the charges, KNOTH faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years and a fine of up to $3,000,000.

Acting U.S. Attorney Dannehy stressed that an indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial at which it is the Government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Calvin B. Kurimai.

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