Banks defrauded by RV dealer collect $623,000

Posted: Wednesday, December 05, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Federal prosecutors returned a total of $623,482 Tuesday to three banks that were defrauded by former RV dealer Danial Twitchell of Anchorage.

The government claimed the money through a forfeiture proceeding following Twitchell's conviction earlier this year for bank fraud and money laundering.

Currently serving a three-year federal prison sentence in Oregon, Twitchell had owned Alaskan Adventures RV Center in Anchorage.

In September 2000, Twitchell was arrested on the Glenn Highway attempting to flee the state in his luxury motor home, said Michael Thoreson, the lead FBI investigator on the case.

A U.S. District Court jury convicted Twitchell last February of 14 counts of bank fraud and four counts of money laundering. Twitchell is appealing his conviction to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Federal prosecutors say Twitchell got bank loans for vehicles had already been sold and failed to repay banks after selling RVs he had pledged as collateral.

Twitchell closed his business in May 2000, during the peak season for RV rentals and sales. That raised the suspicions of bankers who had financed much of Twitchell's inventory. A complaint was filed with the FBI which investigated and found evidence of fraud.

Agents discovered $425,450 in a safe underneath the stairs in Twitchell's home. Other money was stashed in investment accounts. The FBI eventually seized more than $600,000 during the course of the investigation, prosecutors said.

The money was returned Tuesday to KeyBank, CIT Financial and Deutsch Financial Services.

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