Two Real Estate Developers Convicted of Conspiring to Embezzle Millions From Washington Federal Bank in Chicago

Two real estate developers have been convicted of embezzling millions from Washington Federal Bank in Chicago. Learn about the verdict and its impact.

In a significant verdict that sheds light on the consequences of financial fraud, two real estate developers have been convicted for their roles in embezzling millions of dollars from the failed Washington Federal Bank in Chicago. After a comprehensive investigation and a three-week trial, the federal jury found MIROSLAW KREJZA and MAREK MATCZUK guilty of conspiring to falsify bank records and aiding and abetting embezzlement by bank employees. The convicted conspirators, along with others, disguised the embezzled funds as real estate development loan disbursements, which they were not required to repay. The impact of this fraudulent scheme has had a lasting effect on the financial industry, highlighting the significance of effective monitoring and regulatory oversight.

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Washington Federal Bank for Savings, based in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood, shut down in 2017 after the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency determined that the bank was insolvent and had nonperforming loans amounting to at least $66 million. This collapse was a result of various factors, including an embezzlement scheme orchestrated by developers associated with the bank.

Convictions and Charges

Following a thorough investigation, the developers involved in the embezzlement scheme were convicted of several charges. They were found guilty of conspiring to embezzle funds, falsifying bank records, and aiding and abetting embezzlement by bank employees. However, the sentencing dates for these convictions have yet to be set.

Announcement of Convictions

The convictions of the developers involved in the embezzlement scheme were announced by various government agencies. Government officials played a vital role in the announcement, emphasizing the significance of these convictions in combating financial fraud.

Overview of Investigation

The investigation into the collapse of Washington Federal was a comprehensive effort to uncover the truth behind the bank’s failure. As a result of this investigation, criminal charges were filed against 16 defendants, including high-ranking bank employees. The investigation revealed that embezzled funds were transferred to individuals outside the bank, implicating a larger network of individuals involved in the scheme.

Convictions and Pleas

Among the defendants involved in the embezzlement scheme, four individuals, including Krejza and Matczuk, were convicted of their involvement. Additionally, ten defendants pleaded guilty, acknowledging their role in the fraudulent activities. Two other defendants entered into deferred prosecution agreements, subject to certain conditions, in exchange for their cooperation.

Sentencing and Case Updates

Although the convictions have been secured, the sentencing dates for the defendants involved in the embezzlement scheme are yet to be determined. The upcoming sentencing dates will be crucial in determining the legal consequences for their actions. As the cases progress, there will be regular updates on the previous convictions and the overall outcome of the investigation.

Involvement of Attorneys

Chicago attorney Robert M. Kowalski was deeply involved in the embezzlement scheme. He played a significant role in facilitating the transfer of embezzled funds to individuals outside the bank. Kowalski was convicted earlier this year on bankruptcy fraud, bank embezzlement, and false statement charges. His sentencing is scheduled for January 23, 2024. Another attorney, Jan R. Kowalski, sister of Robert Kowalski, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to over three years in prison for her role in helping her brother conceal funds from creditors and the bankruptcy trustee.

Involvement of Board of Directors

Three former board members of Washington Federal Bank pleaded guilty to conspiring to falsify bank records with the intent to deceive the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). These board members, William M. Mahon, George F. Kozdemba, and Janice M. Weston, will face sentencing in December. Their guilty pleas illuminate the role played by individuals in positions of power in perpetrating financial fraud.

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Additional Convictions

Apart from the individuals directly involved with the bank, Chicago attorney Patrick D. Thompson was also convicted on false statement and tax fraud charges. Thompson falsely claimed he had received a loan from Washington Federal and fraudulently deducted interest that he had not actually paid from his tax returns. His sentencing is expected to take place soon.

Related Content

To further understand the implications and consequences of financial fraud, it is essential to explore related content. This content includes press releases on other fraud cases, covering topics such as bankruptcy, cybercrime, financial fraud, mortgage fraud, and tax issues. Learning from these cases can help prevent future occurrences and strengthen measures against fraudulent activities.

In conclusion, the convictions of the real estate developers involved in the embezzlement scheme at Washington Federal Bank for Savings mark a significant milestone in the pursuit of justice. The thorough investigation, announcement of convictions, and upcoming sentencing dates are essential steps toward holding the guilty parties accountable. The involvement of attorneys and the board of directors highlights the need for increased vigilance and integrity in the financial sector. By examining related content, we can learn valuable lessons and ensure stronger safeguards against financial fraud in the future.

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