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CEO Of Phoenix-Based Company Sentenced To 7 Years, $50M In Restitution

The former CEO of a Phoenix-based auctioneering company has been sentenced to seven years in prison and ordered to pay more than $50 million in restitution.

Deborah Weidenhamer previously pleaded guilty to seven counts of bank fraud in U.S. district court.

Weidenhamer admitted to fraudulently obtaining more than $50 million in bank loans for her failed business, American Auction Company Inc. According to court documents, Weidenhamer promoted her business as a successful, growing company. In fact, American Auction lost money every year since at least 2009.

Nevertheless, Weidenhamer persuaded banks to lend her money by submitting fabricated financial statements and other fraudulent documents. Her conduct was eventually discovered in an audit last year.

Weidenhamer then voluntarily cooperated with her lenders, the FBI, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. She provided a full confession.

Stina Sieg was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2013 to 2018.