Thursday, May 23, 2002

Finnan attorney denies charges

Client an Erpenbeck 'victim,' lawyer says

By Patrick Crowley,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Former bank president John Finnan “has done nothing wrong” and will fight a federal government claim that he used money made through criminal activity to buy a Florida condo, his lawyer said Wednesday.

        Comments from Cincinnati criminal-defense lawyer Richard Goldberg are the first indication that Mr. Finnan — who lost his job last month as president of Peoples Bank of Northern Kentucky because of his relationship with home builder A. William “Bill” Erpenbeck — plans to contest any charges brought against him.

        No charges have been filed, but Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Cincinnati filed claims against a $196,000 condo in Fort Myers, Fla., that Mr. Finnan owns with former Peoples executive vice president Marc Menne, who also lost his job because of dealings with Mr. Erpenbeck.

        Claims were also filed against Mr. Menne's Villa Hills home and homes Mr. Erpenbeck owns in Crestview Hills and Florida.

        Under federal law, the U.S. Attorney's Office can seek the seizure of assets believed to have been bought with money obtained through criminal activity.

Click here for all Enquirer reports on Erpenbeck Co.
If you have any additional information on the business dealings of the Erpenbeck Co. or Peoples Bank of Northern Kentucky - or on the involvement of any parties not yet identified in our coverage - please email Enquirer business reporter James McNair at or Kentucky Enquirer reporter Patrick Crowley at
        “At least on behalf of (Mr. Finnan), there were no fraudulent proceeds used in the purchase of a condominium,” Mr. Goldberg said.

        “John has done nothing wrong, nothing illegal. He is cooperating fully with the federal authorities ... and is himself a clear victim of this Erpenbeck situation.”

        Mr. Goldberg would not comment further, other than to say he will file a formal contest of the government's action in federal court in Cincinnati within 20 days.

        The Erpenbeck Co. is accused of diverting $15 million in closing checks into Erpenbeck Co. accounts at Peoples Bank. Mr. Finnan and Mr. Menne lost their jobs after bank board members learned they had a side business buying model homes from Erpenbeck and then leasing them back to the company.


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