PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, announced that ERIC SKYS, the
former Chairman, President, and CEO of Kaiser Himmel Corporation,
was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court by United States
District Judge WILLIAM H. PAULEY III to 130 months in prison.
SKYS previously pleaded guilty in the middle of a jury trial in
August 2009, to securities fraud, wire fraud, and bank fraud
charges arising from his scheme to defraud Citibank of more than
$83 million. SKYS attempted to obtain a loan in that amount from
Citibank, N.A. (“Citibank”) by posting non-existent Sprint Nextel
stock as collateral, and forged various financial documents as
part of his scheme.
According to the Complaint, Indictment, trial evidence,
as well as statements made in court during the sentencing:
SKYS engaged in a scheme to defraud Citibank of more
than $83 million. Specifically, beginning in August 2007, SKYS
attempted to obtain a loan from Citibank in exchange for pledging
millions of shares of Sprint Nextel Corporation stock that SKYS
claimed to own. As SKYS admitted during his guilty plea, he
owned no such stock, and he had forged the documents that he
submitted to Citibank as evidence of his ownership of the shares.
Those forged documents included bank and brokerage records
purporting to confirm the existence of the stock, and SKYS’s
possession. The evidence also showed that after Citibank
detected the fraud and refused to grant the loan, SKYS attempted
to defraud several other financial institutions.
SKYS pleaded guilty on August 5, 2009, two days after
trial commenced, to all five counts in the Indictment. Counts
One through Four of the Indictment charged him with securities
fraud and wire fraud, and Count Five charged SKYS with bank
SKYS, 26, who has been detained since his arrest on May
15, 2008, formerly resided in Somerset, Pennsylvania.
Mr. BHARARA praised the investigative work of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation and thanked the Pennsylvania
State Police and United States Air Force Office of Special
Investigations for their assistance in this case.
Assistant United States Attorneys WILLIAM STELLMACH and
MARIA DOUVAS are in charge of the prosecution.