Ex-Fred Leighton Owner Pleads Guilty To $20M Fraud

Law360, New York (April 15, 2011, 8:15 PM EDT) -- The former owner of Fred Leighton Holdings Inc. pled guilty Friday in New York to defrauding a bankruptcy court and creditor Merrill Lynch by selling or misusing at least $20 million in merchandise that belonged to the company's Chapter 11 estate.

Ralph Esmerian, 71, who also owned R. Esmerian Inc., entered his plea before Judge Denise Cote in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to bankruptcy fraud, concealment of assets and wire fraud. The last charge pertained to $500,000 he wired...
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