RV Dealer found guilty of 18 felony fraud counts

Posted: Thursday, February 22, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A U.S. District Court jury convicted a former Anchorage motor home dealer Wednesday of 14 felony counts of bank fraud and four counts of money laundering.

The jury concluded Danial Twitchell, who ran Alaskan Adventures RV Center until it closed last year, defrauded Key Bank by obtaining loan advances for vehicles he had already sold or by failing to pay back the bank after selling a vehicle he had pledged as collateral.

Twitchell's attorney had argued that his client made some honest mistakes and was guilty only of not paying his bills on time, which is not a crime.

Prosecutors said Twitchell took about $426,000 from the bank. When federal agents arrested him in September they found a safe in his home stuffed with $492,450 in cash. Assistant U.S. Attorney Crandon Randell said the money shows Twitchell could have paid the bank what he owed if he had wanted to.

Twitchell faces a likely sentence of three to five years and will probably have to pay restitution, Randell said.

''This guy did a lot of damage,'' Randell said. He not only defrauded the bank but also left customers without the titles to the motor homes they believed they had purchased, the prosecutor said.

''People drove down the road with temporary registrations and that's all they got,'' Randell said.

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