Maad pleads guilty to making a false statement

Posted: Thursday, March 18, 2004

ANCHORAGE - Nezar Khaled "Mike" Maad has pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the U.S. Small Business Administration to obtain a $242,000 loan and will not be retried in Fairbanks, the U.S. attorney's office said.

Maad entered the plea Wednesday in U.S. District Court in an agreement made with federal prosecutors.

The Syrian-born man initially gained public support in Anchorage when his print shop was vandalized with an anti-Arab message after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Federal prosecutors started a hate-crime investigation but dropped it when they charged him with bank fraud. He admitted that he had failed to disclose his prior bankruptcy to a loan officer and on the SBA loan application.

Maad was convicted on this charge, along with charges of making false statements in loan applications and wire fraud, by a District Court jury here on Feb. 12, 2002.

The convictions were reversed last year by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. District Judge James Singleton should have granted a request to move the case out of Anchorage because of pretrial media coverage, the panel said. A second trial had been planned in Fairbanks.

The remaining charges were dismissed by Judge Ralph Beistline.

As part of the plea agreement, Maad has agreed to pay the remainder of the $155,483.75 restitution due in the case.

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