Restaurateur Gets 5 Years in Swindle

A former Torrance restaurateur and boxing champion has been sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to repay $247,000 he swindled from Security Pacific National Bank in 1982, federal court officials said.

James McGrail, 52, deposited altered or stolen checks into the bank and then withdrew the funds in July and August, 1982. McGrail fled to Australia but was located there by the FBI and extradited to the United States for trial.

McGrail, a former welterweight boxing champ who operated the defunct Bounty seafood restaurant in Torrance, was convicted May 11 of two counts of interstate transportation of forged securities and three counts of bank larceny.

He was found guilty of altering a $125 insurance draft meant to cover his son's medical bills to read $125,000, said Assistant U.S. Atty. Stephen Mansfield.

He deposited that check, along with a $172,879 check stolen from an Essex, England, bank, into Security Pacific, Mansfield said.

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