Berkshire Bank claims Pioneer Bank enabled $101 million fraud scheme

ALBANY — Shocking new details in the MyPayrollHR bank fraud case reveal that company CEO Michael Mann, currently serving 12 years in federal prison for bilking companies across the country out of $101 million, purportedly attempted to scam a Latin American businessman by impersonating a local banking executive.

The allegations are part of a 100-page legal filing in Berkshire Bank’s lawsuit against Colonie-based Pioneer Bank that seeks to recoup $14 million in loans that Berkshire provided to Mann from 2017 to 2019 as part of a consortium of midsized banks led by Pioneer.

The filing is an updated, or amended, version of Berkshire’s original lawsuit filed against Pioneer in 2020 after the collapse of MyPayrollHR in the days after Labor Day weekend in 2019, after which Mann confessed to a massive bank fraud scheme that made headlines across the U.S. in September 2019.

Berkshire sued Pioneer in early 2020 alleging that Pioneer had failed to reveal troubling details about Mann’s activities when it induced Berkshire to participate in the loan consortium, which originally provided Mann with a $22 million line of credit. Capital Bank, a subsidiary of Chemung Canal Trust Co., was also part of the consortium and has also sued Pioneer.

The loan was supposed to support a variety of businesses that Mann ran out of an office in Clifton Park, including MyPayrollHR, a payroll processing service. In…

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