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2 Ex-Monon Execs Convicted of Fraud

November 21, 2002

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HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) _ A federal jury found two former Monon Corp. executives guilty of directing the fraudulent borrowing of millions of dollars to keep the trailer maker operating before it went bankrupt, displacing more than 1,000 workers.

Jurors on Wednesday convicted former Monon chief executive Thomas J. Rosby and former chief financial officer John M. Franklin on fraud and conspiracy charges.

Rosby, 58, of Indian Wells, Calif., and Franklin, 47, of Cary, N.C., each could face up to 45 years in prison and fines totaling more than $2 million when they are sentenced Feb. 12 in U.S. District Court in Hammond. Both men were released on bond until then.

Prosecutors said the men obtained nearly $44 million for Monon Corp. under false pretenses between March and October 1996. The indictment alleged Rosby and Franklin misrepresented how many trailers the company was making, allowing Monon to borrow more money than it was entitled to.

Another former Monon official, Michael A. Peterson, pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges in February 2001 and testified he helped the pair fraudulently obtain millions in funds. Prosecutors are expected to recommend leniency when he is sentenced Jan. 16.

Monon’s creditors were unable to recover the money when the company went bankrupt in 1996.

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