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Green pleads guilty to fraud, money laundering

OXFORD — The former president of PeopLoungers has pleaded guilty to bank fraud, mail fraud and money laundering.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oxford said 57-yer-old James Clifton “Jimmy” Green Jr. of Tupelo pleaded guilty April 15.

Green was accused of misrepresenting his financial information to several banks to secure loans for his personal use. He faces up to 80 years in prison and $2.5 million in fines. He is free on $5,000 bond, according to the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.

The charges were not related to business dealings involving PeopLoungers.

Nettleton-based Peoploungers, which made upholstered furniture, was started in Tupelo in 1979 and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May 2007.

Green said at the time that the bankruptcy filing was necessary because of pricing pressures and because competition from Asia, particularly China, had cut into its business. In its Chapter 11 filing, the company said it owed its top 20 creditors about $5.7 million. It also said sales dropped from about $94 million in 2003 to an estimated $50 million.

As for the criminal charges, Green was accused of using a $300,000 loan from Community Bank-North Mississippi in 2006 to pay other banks to keep his scheme going.

Count one against him said he conspired to defraud Community Bank with a personal financial statement that overvalued his assets and did not truthfully list his liabilities for the unsecured, personal loan.

Prosecutors said he also obtained personal loans by the same method from Renasant Bank, First Commercial Bank, Merchant and Farmers Bank, Cadence Bank, First Tennessee and Trustmark National Bank.

The other two counts to which he pleaded guilty say he used the mail and private interstate carriers to mail a check to Community Bank, advising them he wanted to renew his loan for another three months.

In exchange for his plea, the U.S. agreed not to charge him with anything else coming from the charges. He also may be ordered to pay restitution.

Green’s sentence date will not be set until a report is complete from the U.S. Probation Service. It usually takes about two months.

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