News and Press Releases

Robert Jean Stoltz, Jr. Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Billings, on May 6, 2009, before Senior U.S. District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom, ROBERT JEAN STOLTZ, JR., a resident of Billings, appeared for sentencing. STOLTZ was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 13 months
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Restitution: $52,543.60
  • Supervised Release: 5 years

STOLTZ was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to making false statements to a bank.

In an Offer of Proof filed by the United States, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

STOLTZ is the Chief Executive and President of Chief Construction Specialties Inc., which is a local contracting and construction business in Billings. In March 2005, STOLTZ moved his business banking to accounts at First Interstate Bank (FIB) in Billings. His two main accounts at FIB consisted of a checking account and a $1.5 million line of credit. However, the checking account did not typically carry a positive balance, and checks written off this account were automatically attributed to his line of credit. STOLTZ also had various other equipment and real estate loans with FIB.

By November of 2006, STOLTZ'S line of credit was almost maxed out and his debt hovered around $1,441,986. STOLTZ'S loan grading had been reduced due to poor performance and payment was due in November of 2006. Consequently, STOLTZ entered into meetings with an FIB senior loan officer and other FIB executives to discuss the status of his line of credit.

In one such meeting on November 9, 2006, STOLTZ informed FIB that he netted roughly $3 million from a gravel sale in the Bozeman area. Although this was not reflected on his August 30, 2006, balance sheet, STOLTZ informed FIB that the sale had gone through and he was currently being advised of the tax consequences which would determine how much he could pay FIB. He indicated he could inject about $2.5 million into the company. STOLTZ also stated that a second gravel sale to Fisher Construction should net him an additional $2 million which may be pushed out into 2007 for tax purposes.

Based on these representations, on November 9, 2006, the senior loan officer pushed back the maturity date on the line of credit to December 1, 2006, and recommended approving a renewal of the line of credit based on STOLTZ'S representation that there would be a cash infusion into the company. Ultimately, STOLTZ and FIB negotiated for him to provide a check to FIB on November 17, 2006, prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. STOLTZ'S representative dropped off a check written for $2.3 million to FIB after the close of business on November 17, 2006. FIB then cashed this check the following Monday, November 20, 2006. In the meantime, STOLTZ had drawn up and sent out checks in excess of $620,000 that payees attempted to deposit in the week following the check deposit. Of this amount, $52,543.61 was paid by FIB as of November 22, 2006.

On November 22, 2006, the President of First Citizens Bank, which held STOLTZ'S R bar S Livestock account on which the $2.3 million check was drawn, contacted FIB to inform them that there were insufficient funds in the R bar S account to cover the check. As records subsequently revealed, at the time the $2.3 million check was written, there was only $8,963.46 in the account.

Once informed that STOLTZ had insufficient funds to cover the check, FIB shut payments down. STOLTZ subsequently informed FIB on November 29, 2006, that the $3 million gravel deal was closed on November 3, but there was an error in his office and the funds were not deposited. Later, in December of 2006, STOLTZ informed FIB that funds had arrived in his First Citizens account from a Canadian cashier's check and there was a five day hold on this check. Records confirm that there was never any such transfer and that STOLTZ'S R bar S account never held anywhere close to $2.3 million.

Further investigation revealed that STOLTZ never had a $2 million contract with Fisher, and actually owed them approximately $90,000. While Fisher had contemplated a deal with STOLTZ for the purchase of gravel he had an interest in from the Bozeman/Belgrade area, royalties would be no greater than $50,000 - $100,000. Additionally, with regard to his alleged $3 million gravel sale in the Bozeman area, STOLTZ had no ownership interest in the mine and had only entered into negotiations for a gravel mining and subdivision development project with land owners at that location. Nothing was ever finalized and STOLTZ had not closed any $3 million deals.

In sum, STOLTZ repeatedly informed FIB that he had closed a $3 million gravel deal and funds from this deal would be available on November 20, 2006. But STOLTZ never owned a gravel mine, and never owned any interest in gravel that even approached $3 million or $2.3 million when he delivered a check for that amount to FIB.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that STOLTZ will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, STOLTZ does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan M. Archer prosecuted the case for the United States.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Secret Service.



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