By KEVIN NEVERS
Carl Paul Ihle Jr. has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for his role in
the cover-up of the kickback scheme which greased the sale of 55 acres at
Coffee Creek Center to the Northwest Indiana Regional Council of Carpenters
Pension Fund Trust.
Ihle was the only person of the four indicted in connection with the scheme
who refused to accept a plea agreement. He went to trial in September and
was convicted on all five counts: one of falsifying records and four of
making false statements to federal investigators and grand juries.
On Friday in South Bend U.S. District Court Judge Robert Miller Jr.
sentenced Ihle to 21 months in prison and two years of supervised release
after completing that sentence and ordered him to pay a fine of $33,000 as
well as a “special assessment” of $500.
Chris Balzer, a spokeperson for U.S. Attorney Joe Van Bokkelen, told the
Chesterton Tribune today that Ihle is expected to surrender to authorities
sometime within the next six weeks.
According to the original indictment, of the $600,000 commission which Ihle
and Kevin Pastrick’s firm, Sand Creek Sales & Development, earned for
brokering the $10 million deal, Pastrick paid a $200,000 kickback to Peter
Manous, an attorney for the pension fund trust, and a $40,000 kickback to
Gerry Nannenga, a trustee of the fund, in exchange for his vote in favor of
the deal. That $40,000 kickback and a further $25,000 one made by Manous
from his share were funneled through Olympic Services, a dummy corporation
whose only purported employee was Nannenga’s wife.
According to the indictment against Ihle, Ihle was involved in the
subsequent effort to cover up the kickbacks and to that end altered or
otherwise created documents with the intention of misleading investigators
about the nature of the dummy corporation. He also made false statements to
those investigators and to two grand juries.
Manous is currently serving a 27-month sentence. Pastrick was sentenced to
37 months on Thursday and must surrender to authorities on May 2. Nannenga
is scheduled to be sentenced April 8.
Balzer said that Ihle, Pastrick, and Manous will probably serve at least 85
percent of their sentence.
Meanwhile, on Feb. 24, the Indiana Real Estate Commission voted unanimously
to issue an emergency 90-day suspension of Ihle’s license, at the request of
Attorney General Steve Carter. During those 90 days the commission is likely
to schedule a full hearing on the future disposition of his license. Earlier
this year the commission permanently revoked Pastrick’s license.