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Former owner of Lake Cumberland marina sentenced to prison for bank fraud

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The former operator of Grider Hill Marina on Lake Cumberland was sentenced Tuesday to four years and two months in prison for bank fraud.

John Guzman, 70, of Shelby County was convicted last year of nine counts of defrauding American Founders Bank of more than $4 million in 2006 and 2007, according to court documents and a news release from acting U.S. Attorney Carlton S. Shier IV.

Evidence showed that Guzman submitted false paperwork to get loans, faking appraisal documents and listing collateral that didn’t exist, and used the money to buy the marina in Clinton County, according to Shier.

Guzman also forged signatures of investors and acquaintances, including his dead brother, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Several people Guzman listed as guarantors on the loans were forced to declare bankruptcy or refinance their homes to pay the debts, and two witnesses said Guzman bragged that “I stole that money fair and square” in reference to one loan, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Neeraj Gupta and Kenneth Taylor said in one motion.

Guzman’s attorney, H. Wayne Roberts, had asked to delay the sentencing pending an appeal, but U.S. District Judge Joseph M. Hood denied that request Tuesday.

Hood allowed Guzman to remain free on bond until the date the U.S. Bureau of Prisons sets for him to report to prison.

Hood said the issue of restitution will be handled in a separate hearing.

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