A Hanover businessman pleaded guilty to bank fraud and money-laundering charges Thursday, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Matthew S. Norris, 34, admitted to devising and executing a scheme defrauding GE Bank out of about $157,000, the release states. The scheme reportedly started in 2011. Norris was indicted on the charges in September.

As part of Norris' plea agreement with the government, he will pay $157,785 in restitution to GE Bank.

The background: According to the release, Norris submitted 27 credit applications to GE Bank under the names of his customers without their consent.

"By inflating the customers' income on electronic credit applications, Norris succeeded in obtaining lines of credit for the customers to purchase Electrolux products," the release states.

After that, Norris charged the approved accounts for fictional sales, and GE Bank deposited the loan proceeds into Norris' business account, according to the release. Norris listed the applicants' addresses as his business, 1125 York St., Hanover, so that the bank would mail the credit cards and monthly statements to him, according to the indictment.

He made payments on behalf of the customers without their knowledge, according to the release. The scheme was discovered in October 2011 when an Electrolux executive did an onsite audit of Norris' business. When GE Bank learned of the scheme, the amounts owed by the customers were immediately credited back, costing the bank $150,000, according to the release.

The release states that the maximum penalty under federal law is 30 years in prison followed by supervised release and a $1 million fine. A date for sentencing has not been set.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.

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