Chesterton Tribune

Paul Ihle sentenced to 21 months in prison

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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.


Posted 3/21/2005