Nekvasil sentenced to 27 years

Published 12:35 am Saturday, May 7, 2005

By Staff
LANSING - United States Attorney Margaret M. Chiara announced that James R. Nekvasil, Jr., 37, of Niles was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge David W. McKeague to 324 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, one count of money laundering and one count of making a false statement stemming from a scheme to defraud Sobieski Bank.
In addition Nekvasil, Jr. was ordered to pay $5,624,000 in restitution. Nekvasil, Jr. pleaded guilty to the charges in October 2004, during the second week of an anticipated two month jury trial.
In 1993 and 1994, Nekvasil, Jr. was the primary actor in a conspiracy to defraud Tyler Employees Credit Union in Niles. He committed the fraud by compromising TECU's senior loan officer, who set up a series of loans for Nekvasil Jr. in his name and the names of other individuals. These loans were either signed by Nekvasil Jr. or signed under Nekvasil Jr.'s direction, using names of his girlfriends, their family members and Nekvasil Jr.'s mother, Francis Nekvasil.
In 1995, Nekvasil pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to defraud the credit union, bank fraud, and false credit institution entries.
On Sept. 18, 1995, Nekvasil was ordered to serve a term of imprisonment of 21 months, as part of the judgment of conviction, Nekvasil was also ordered to pay approximately $900,000 in restitution. Nekvasil, Jr. was released from prison in May 1997, and placed on a term of supervised release.
After his release from prison in 1997, Nekvasil, Jr., along with the help of some of his old and some new, co-conspirators, schemed to obtain monies or funds from Provident Financial services, Wachovia (now First Union National Bank of Delaware), Old Kent Bank (now Fifth Third Bank) and Wells Fargo Bank.
The co-conspirators obtained money and funds from those banks by falsifying applications for loans which allowed them to construct and lavishly renovate a home and purchase land in Niles. Nekvasil, Jr. then began to portray himself as a successful businessman.
Thereafter, the co-conspirators defrauded Sobieski Bank by obtaining unauthorized lines of credit which they never intended to repay and by making purchases of personal property and real property located in Western Michigan and Northern Indiana to further their fraudulent scheme and support their lavish lifestyles.
Among other things, Nekvasil, Jr., Francis Nekvasil and other co-conspirators working at their direction, executed false loan documentation and or did not submit loan documentation or financial statements for purported residential and commercial loans obtained from Sobieski Bank.
Andrew Ujdak, a senior commercial loan officer at the bank, orchestrated a series of false and fictitious loans and lines of credit to the Nekvasils and the Nekvasil entities which exposed Sobieski Bank to significant losses. The loans were designated as residential and commercial loans by Ujdak on bank documents, but none of these loans was properly supported with liens, financial documentation such as financial statements or tax returns or perfected collateral.
Nekvasil, Jr., Francis Nekvasil, Donald Johnson, Patti Jo Paskiet, Shellie Paskiet, Linda K. Willings, Philip J. Dobbins and other co-conspirators, never prepared or submitted documentation to Sobieski Bank to authorize these loans or lines of credit despite repeated demands from Ujdak.
In fact Nekvasil, Jr. repeatedly signed these documents as Don Johnson. Further, these loans were represented to Sobieski Bank to be for commercial/business purposes only, but were not used for those purposes.
The co-conspirators never intended to make any payments on lines of credit to Sobieski Bank and made nominal payments to existing lines of credit by obtaining or drawing on other lines of credit, Sobieski Bank suffered a gross loss of approximately $9.6 million by May 2002.
In addition to the sentence in court on Friday, the court has previously sentenced Patti Paskiet to 30 months, Donald Johnson to 30 months, Shellie Paskiet to 45 months, Linda Willings to 45 months, PJ Dobbins to 51 months and Francis Nekvasil to 78 months incarceration.
The charges against James Nekvasil, Jr., arose from an investigation by Special Agent Roy Johnson, Federal Bureau of Investigation, St. Joseph and Special Agent Barbara Lee-Birdsong, Internal Revenue Service, Traverse City. This case was prosecuted on behalf on the United States of America by Assistant United States Attorneys Joan E. Meyer and Matthew G. Borgula.