Bible Required Family to Follow Father's Orders, Podluckys Say; Karla Podlucky and Her Son, Jesse, Both Sentenced to Federal Prison for Their Roles in the Largest Business Fraud in Western Pennsylvania History, Have Filed Last-Ditch Appeals Based on Religious Beliefs That They Should Be Subservient to the Family Patriarch, Former LeNature's Inc. CEO Gregory J. Podlucky. [Derived Headline]

By Peirce, Paul | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, February 22, 2016 | Go to article overview

Bible Required Family to Follow Father's Orders, Podluckys Say; Karla Podlucky and Her Son, Jesse, Both Sentenced to Federal Prison for Their Roles in the Largest Business Fraud in Western Pennsylvania History, Have Filed Last-Ditch Appeals Based on Religious Beliefs That They Should Be Subservient to the Family Patriarch, Former LeNature's Inc. CEO Gregory J. Podlucky. [Derived Headline]


Peirce, Paul, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Karla Podlucky and her son, Jesse, both sentenced to federal prison for their roles in the largest business fraud in Western Pennsylvania history, have filed last-ditch appeals based on religious beliefs that they should be subservient to the family patriarch, former LeNature's Inc. CEO Gregory J. Podlucky.

From a federal prison in Yankton, S.D., G. Jesse Podlucky, 35, crafted the "last chance" federal appeal for himself and his mother.

Jesse Podlucky said biblical teachings command them to obey his father, who led the now-defunct Latrobe beverage company into bankruptcy. Gregory Podlucky, 55, is serving a 20-year prison sentence for orchestrating a pyramid scheme that bilked investors out of $629 million.

Karla and Jesse Podlucky were convicted of helping Gregory hide and auction off $2.9 million in diamonds he bought with some of the money he bilked from investors. The proceeds were used to cover his legal bills.

Late last year, Karla Podlucky, 54, gave power of attorney to her son to handle the third and final appeal of her conviction and sentence, according to records filed in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh. No attorney is listed in court documents.

She was released from custody Jan. 7, having served four years in prison for money laundering. She will be under federal court supervision for three years, records show. Her current address could not be determined.

J. Alan Johnson, U.S. district attorney for Western Pennsylvania from 1981 to 1989, could not recall two convicted members in a family collaborating on an appeal. But he said it's neither improper nor surprising.

"You've heard of jailhouse lawyers before. ... It happens all the time. There are a whole lot of them," Johnson said. "Post- conviction motions -- after the other appeals are unsuccessful -- such as this are not a very high percentage, but occasionally they are successful" in overturning convictions or resentencing.

Jesse Podlucky's petition of more than 100 pages was filed in October. In it, he contends his and his mother's prosecutions violated their belief in the literal interpretation of the Bible regarding the father's role in the family.

The family's religious beliefs shielded them from "either learning or believing Gregory Joseph Podlucky's alleged criminal activity," he wrote.

Podlucky cited Scriptures, including 1 Timothy 3:4, which says, "He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive." He also cited Ephesians 5:22, which says, "Wives, submit to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the Husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is head of the church."

The petition says the Podluckys are devout Christians, but it mentions no church or denomination. …

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Bible Required Family to Follow Father's Orders, Podluckys Say; Karla Podlucky and Her Son, Jesse, Both Sentenced to Federal Prison for Their Roles in the Largest Business Fraud in Western Pennsylvania History, Have Filed Last-Ditch Appeals Based on Religious Beliefs That They Should Be Subservient to the Family Patriarch, Former LeNature's Inc. CEO Gregory J. Podlucky. [Derived Headline]
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