BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — Local accountant Andrew N. LaVigne pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering this week in federal court.LaVigne, 66, of Lansing, was a certified public accountant who practiced in Ithaca for more than three decades. In 2004, he filed for personal bankruptcy, a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York said. The attorney’s office said LaVigne used his CPA practice to conceal millions in assets and also defrauded a woman of more than $1 million in a mail fraud scheme. Tagged: accountant, andrew lavigne, ithaca, northern district of new york, U.S. Attorney General Your Crime & Courts news is made possible with support from: Kelsey O’Connor When he filed for bankruptcy, he owed about $7.6 million to more than 80 unsecured creditors after what the U.S. Attorney’s Office said was “a failed scheme to use their money to purchase sports and entertainment memorabilia and resell it for a profit.” During his bankruptcy, he reportedly claimed his home as his only asset and did not pay back the 80 investors he owed. With his guilty plea Wednesday, he admitted to using his CPA practice’s bank accounts to conceal between $3.5 and $9.5 million in assets from the United States Bankruptcy Court and the Office of the United States Trust, which he laundered by depositing funds unrelated to his CPA practice into his business accounts. He then used that money for his own benefit, including to buy sports memorabilia, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.In a separate mail fraud scheme, LaVigne admitted to defrauding a client of $1 million, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Over a two-year period, LaVigne allegedly convinced a senior citizen to pay $3.6 million for shares of a company that LaVigne created, which he claimed would develop a piece of waterfront property at 101 Pier Road in Ithaca. The woman bought 90 percent of the company, the attorney’s office said, and LaVigne obtained an additional $1 million to invest in the company, but never built the property.“Instead, he used the victim’s money for his own purposes, which included writing checks to himself, paying for the construction of a house for a family member, and funding payroll for his accounting practice. LaVigne also laundered payments he received from this scheme through his CPA practice accounts,” the news release said.LaVigne is scheduled to be sentenced July 30 by Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy. He faces a maximum imprisonment of 20 years on the mail fraud charge, 10 years on the money laundering charge, and five for the bankruptcy fraud. He could also be sentenced to pay a fine of up to $250,000 on each count. Kelsey O’Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor. More by Kelsey O’Connor
By LESLEY GRAHAMOcean City High School’s girls soccer team blanked the visiting Lower Cape May Tigers on Monday afternoon, 9-0.The win improves the Red Raiders’ record to 7-0-1, while Lower drops to 1-5.The teams, which just played each other last Thursday, met again with the same outcome – a shutout in Ocean City’s favor. The Red Raiders outscored the Tigers a combined 18-0 in both games.With one of the top-producing offenses in the state, Ocean City showcased its one two-punch with Summer Reimet and Faith Slimmer dominating the scoreboard.Reimet, a junior who has committed to Monmouth University, led the team with four goals and an assist. Slimmer, who is a graduating senior headed to Rutgers University to play next fall, added two goals while assisting on four others.Red Raider Kelsey White lines up for a shot on goal.The first half saw the Red Raiders chip in three goals. Reimet was able to get her first of the game with 10 minutes ticked off the game clock.The Tigers stepped up their defensive efforts, keeping the Red Raiders off the scoreboard until less than two minutes left to play in the half. Slimmer was able to get two quick goals in a matter of a minute, the second coming on an assist from Kelsey White.As the second half got underway, Ocean City didn’t hold back, finding the back of the net six more times, the first coming just 30 seconds into the half.Reimet added three more consecutive goals in a 10-minute span, with Slimmer assisting on all of them. Hope Slimmer, Riley Fortna and Mckenna Chisholm rounded out the goal scoring for the Red Raiders.Ocean City’s Ashley Rhodes plays the ball up the sideline.Ocean City Head Coach Lisa Cuneo was happy with how her team played.“Faith (Slimmer) had four assists today. She’s not only a goal scorer but she leads our team in assists as well,” Cuneo said. “Summer finished on her shots today and we were able to get Riley Fortna, who plays center back, in on the offensive action.”The Red Raiders are back in action Tuesday, on the road for their last regular season game against Egg Harbor Township. The Raiders, the 2019 defending state champions, will then begin their postseason run as a surprising No. 2 seed. They will play Vineland at home next Tuesday.Even though the playoffs will be different than in years past, and there is no run for a second consecutive state championship, Cuneo said they are still excited about the postseason.“We are looking forward to the atmosphere being more intense – the trophy at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. Even if it’s not the same, it is still something to play for, and that is ultimately the most important thing,” Cuneo said.Faith Slimmer works the ball past a Lower Cape May defender. Summer Reimet, who led Ocean City with four goals and an assist, advances the ball up the field.
“We had been planning to have this procedure done in February, but after accepting the job here at Carolina that obviously wasn’t going to be possible. We did want to get it taken care of and this window on the calendar made the most sense. I don’t expect this to slow me down at all.”North Carolina will open the season against South Carolina on Aug. 31. Brown first coached the Tar Heels from 1988 to 1997 and at Texas from 1998 to 2013. He then stepped away from football and served as an ESPN analyst before being hired to replace Larry Fedora in November.”First off, how cool is it that one of our former players replaced my knee yesterday?” Brown said. “We talk about building young men so they can be productive husbands, fathers and citizens. Carolina produces a lot of special people and I’m happy we were able to play a small part in Mike’s development because we counted on him and he, along with the rest of the surgical and anesthetic team, did a tremendous job. Dr. Michael Bolognesi, who played defensive back for Brown from 1989 to 1993, performed the surgery on the 67-year-old coach.”The surgery went really well with no issues or complications and he’ll begin a standard rehabilitation program in Chapel Hill immediately,” Bolognesi said in a release. “We don’t expect there to be any need to alter his summer schedule as it relates to team and football operations.” North Carolina coach Mack Brown has seen a lot of players come and go during his coaching career, but recently ran into one in an unlikely place: the operating room.The team announced Tuesday, Brown underwent a right knee replacement surgery Monday performed by one of his former players.