"Howie Lavin is an honorable man. He can't sleep at night," Myrtle Beach lawyer Tommy Brittain says.
Brittain is representing family-owned Lavin Cars in a civil lawsuit and pending criminal charges relating to a check kiting scheme. Monday, he spoke with us regarding the civil lawsuit.
In it, CresCom Bank, formerly Crescent Bank, says that as of May 18th Lavin Cars and Howie and John Lavin owed the bank $1.9 million. The lawsuit also lists Carolina Trust Federal Credit Union as another victim, Brittain says.
"There other allegations out there that haven't really materialized yet that would go beyond this $1.9 million," Brittain says. He's referring to the check kiting charges. Henrietta Golding, CresCom's lawyer, said that it is early in that investigation.
Check kiting is a form of check fraud. It is commonly defined as intentionally writing a check for a value greater than the account balance from an account in one bank, then writing a check from another account in another bank, also with non-sufficient funds, with the second check serving to cover the non-existent funds from the first account.
According to the Sun News, CresCom Bank, based in Charleston, issued a letter to its shareholders in late May saying the bank was one of those victim to the check kiting, and loss could range from nothing to as much as $4.5 million.