Del. man pleads guilty to bank fraud conspiracy
By Randall Chase, Associated Press

A Delaware businessman has pleaded guilty to a felony conspiracy charge in a federal investigation of the lending practices of the failed Wilmington Trust bank.

Salvatore Leone of Dover entered the plea at a court hearing Monday. He is to be sentenced Feb. 13.

Leone was a business partner of Michael Zimmerman, a Dover developer indicted earlier this year on federal charges of conspiracy, money laundering and making false statements to a financial institution.

Prosecutors allege that Leone conspired with Zimmerman to submit fraudulent requests to Wilmington Trust to draw on construction loans, and that he and Zimmerman then used the money for unrelated purposes.

Prosecutors also claim that Leone and Zimmerman kept project-related funds for personal use.



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