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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


JANUARY 24, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


FORMER BUSINESS OWNER SENTENCED FOR

$326,000 BANK FRAUD


            JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former business owner in Columbia, Mo., was sentenced in federal court today for a bank fraud conspiracy that resulted in a loss of more than $326,000 for Boone National Savings and Loan Association in Columbia.


             John T. Sobaski, 43, formerly of Columbia, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey this morning to two years and six months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Sobaski to pay $326,318 in restitution.


             On Sept. 21, 2007, Sobaski pleaded guilty to bank fraud. Sobaski, the former owner of Big Cedar Custom Design and Fabrication, admitted that he created loans in the name of fictitious individuals and obtained loans utilizing forged signatures of guarantors in order to keep his previous loans from remaining in default.


             Among those fraudulent loans was a loan in the name of Lee Phillips, a fictitious individual, and three loans in the name of Lee Johnson, a fictitious individual doing business as Diamond Lift Company, a corporation with its address listed as Sobaski’s business address. The proceeds from these fraudulent loans were used to pay prior loans made to Sobaski and his business, Big Cedar, which had gone into default. Sobaski admitted that he knew these loans were being created under false names and the proceeds used to pay on his previous loans.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence E. Miller. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Boone County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department and the Columbia, Mo., Police Department.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html