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$284,000 Conahan cash goes to bank

A Dunmore bank seeks to recoup money it loaned toward a project that collapsed.

WILKES-BARRE – An ambulance company ordered to pay money to former county Judge Michael Conahan’s wife, Barbara, toward a $4 million loan must hand over more than $280,000.

According to court papers filed earlier this week, Trans-Med Ambulance and Trans-Med Properties, a company that was partly owned by Conahan, will pay collectively to First National Community Bank.

The judgment was filed Wednesday by attorney James Mangan, who represents the bank in the case. Trans-Med Ambulance must pay $192,499 while Trans-Med Properties will hand over $92,499.

In mid-May, a Luzerne County judge determined that the bank has the rights to the money owed to the Conahans.

The Dunmore bank had placed a garnishment on monthly payments that Trans-Med had been making to Barbara Conahan as part of its efforts to recover a $4.1 million loan the Conahans had taken through W-Cat, Inc., which used the money to finance a townhouse development in Wright Township.

The project failed after Michael Conahan and former county Judge Mark Ciavarella were arrested on corruption charges, leading to the loan default.

In April, local attorney Carmen Maffei filed a court challenge to FNCB’s garnishment, arguing that Trans Med’s payments to FNCB should instead be paid to him based on a separate agreement he reached with Barbara Conahan relating to money she owed Maffei, according to court documents.

FNCB disputed Maffei’s claim, however, contending it was first in line to the Trans Med payments by virtue of a confession of judgment it filed against the Conahans for the W-Cat loan.

Wetzel sided with FNCB based on the fact that Maffei had neglected to officially file any court documents relating to his agreement with Barbara Conahan.

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