Former Fairbanks banker sentenced

Posted: Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Anchorage-A former Fairbanks businessman was sentenced Tuesday to five months in jail-the time he has already served-for bank fraud.

Thomas Miklautsch, who turns 78 on Thursday, was sentenced to 30 moths in prison with all but 25 months suspended. Miklautsch had faced a maximum of five years in prison a a $250,000 fine.

The former pharmacist, city council member and University of Alaska regent was arrested by customs agents April 30 at Los Angeles International Airport as he returned from Switzerland.

He testified Tuesday that he had spent the last 10 years in Christian missionary work in third-world Asian countries and Europe.

U.S. District Judge H. Russel Holland imposed no fine but oredered substantial restitution for Miklautsch's role in recieving improper loans as a director of Alaska Statebank. Holland mentioned the restitution figure as $608,000 but said a final figure would be determined by the federal probation office.

MIklautsch had faced 15 felony counts stemming from a 1995 indictment of Alaska Statebanks executives. Miklautsch pleaded guilty Aug. 8 to one charge of bank fraud inn a plea agreement with federal prosecutors.

Miklautsch, a well-known pharmacist, had investments in oil and land developments and was a former general manager of the Alaska Goldpanners baseball team.

MIklautsch was the last of five executives from the bank to be tried on fraud and conspiracy charges for using insider loans to take over rival Alaska National Bank of th North in th 1980's, and for issuing inflated dividend payments when the bank was losing money.

By1989, the year Alaska Statebank closed, the directors owed nearly $2.5 million. Miklautsch owed more that $1 million, according to court documents. The bank failed in 1989.

Ralph E. Whitmore Jr., then chief executive officer and board chairman at Alaska Statebank, was convicted in December 1999 or 24 counts of bank fraud and other misuse of his position.

Former direcor William Swain paid a $350,000 settelment after pleading guilty to two federal bank fraud counts. Ex-director Robert Ely pleaded guilty to one count of misapplying bank funds.

In November 1990, the IRS filed a civil lawsuit against Miklautsch and his wife seeking more than $850,000 for a "tax deficiency".

Miklautsch had last been seen in Alask in 1994.

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