Hollenbeck attorney up for sentencing Wednesday

Winston-Salem Journal on April 4, 2012 released the following:

“By: WESLEY YOUNG

Federal prosecutors are recommending a 90-year sentence for Atlanta securities lawyer Gregory Bartko, who was convicted in 2010 of securities fraud in a case that involved the testimony of convicted Kernersville investment counselor Scott Hollenbeck.

Bartko’s attorneys are arguing in federal court that Bartko instead should have a “reasonable” sentence that would free him immediately. They say Bartko would still be barred from law and the securities industry, and that court-ordered restitution would, “for all intents and purposes, impoverish him.”

Bartko has been in jail since his conviction, awaiting sentencing. Sentencing is scheduled for 9 a.m. today in Courtroom 1 on the seventh floor of the Terry Sanford Federal Building at 310 New Bern Ave. in Raleigh.

Bartko is best known here for his role in representing a court-appointed receiver in a successful effort to obtain the return of millions of dollars raised by Hollenbeck from mom-and-pop investors and placed with a Montana coal mine. Bartko negotiated the return of $20 million from the mine operators, though he and another lawyer received criticism for taking $4 million in legal fees from that amount.

Bartko’s conviction relates to two investment plans that involved Hollenbeck raising money in a fraudulent way. Prosecutors say Bartko involved the Hollenbeck investors in losses of $3.4 million and knew about Hollenbeck’s fraudulent sales methods.

They also fault Bartko’s role in the coal mine recovery, saying that Bartko was actually defrauding the coal mine investors because he never repaid the part of the money that went toward a Bartko investment, not the coal mine.

Bartko’s lawyers say Bartko did not know that any of the money in either of his two investment funds had been raised illegally.

The defense attorneys say giving Bartko a 90-year sentence would be out of proportion to the crime, pointing out statistics that show that Bartko’s sentence would be longer than those handed out to convicted murderers, kidnappers and other criminals.

Hollenbeck, sentenced in 2008 to 14 years in prison, received a reduced sentence for testifying against Bartko and John Colvin, another Hollenbeck associate convicted in 2010 of fraud. Hollenbeck is slated for release in October 2015.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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