Ex-Lakeside finance manager gets federal prison term in fraud case

The former finance manager for a defunct Erie auto dealership that was part of a federal fraud investigation was sentenced in federal court on Friday to serve two years and eight months in prison for his admitted involvement in the crime.

Chad Bednarski, 49, of Erie, who pleaded guilty in September to one count of fraud conspiracy, was also ordered to serve two years of supervised release, to pay restitution totaling nearly $1.7 million jointly with co-defendant Andy Gabler, and to pay a $1,000 fine, according to the sentence handed down by U.S. District Judge Susan Paradise Baxter in U.S District Court in Erie on Friday afternoon.

Baxter followed a request by Bednarski and his lawyer, Ken Bickel, in sentencing Bednarski below the range of recommended guidelines, which for Bednarski was a minimum of three years and five months to a maximum of four years and three months.