Merchants Behaving Badly: Swisshelms Defraud Bank, Obtain at Least One Merchant Cash Advance

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It’s another case of fake financial documents. Bruce Swisshelm, of Battlefield, Mo., and his son, Bruce Swisshelm II, of Springfield, both pleaded guilty the other day in a loan fraud scheme. The elder Swisshelm pled guilty to bank fraud and money laundering. His son, to misprision of a felony.

According to the Department of Justice, the Swisshelms owned and operated restaurants including Burger Kings and Macaroni Grills throughout Missouri. The scheme was carried out with the submission of fake financial statements to Great Southern Bank to obtain four commercial loans for nearly $5.5 million from February to June of 2011. The docs claimed a net income of $780,000 for 2010 when the actual filed returns stated a $1.8 million loss.

Not mentioned in the Department of Justice report is that the Swisshelms obtained at least one merchant cash advance tied to six of their restaurants from a Long Island, NY-based company in February of 2011 according to state UCC records. While it is unclear if the MCA company was also defrauded, it is notable that it was obtained in the same month that the Swisshelms began their scheme to defraud banks with fake documents.

The UCC was terminated by the MCA company 18 months later, indicating that perhaps the transaction had a positive outcome.

DOJ Bruce Swisshelm

Last modified: July 24, 2015
Sean Murray


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