Los Angeles Business Journal

Head of Valley Financial Firm Sentenced in Loan Scam

By Business Journal Staff Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The chief executive of a Westlake Village financial firm was sentenced to more than three years in federal prison Monday for orchestrating a fraudulent loan scheme that caused $10.3 million in losses.

Nicholaus Skultety, 30, a resident of Thousand Oaks, was sentenced by Los Angeles federal court Judge Percy Anderson to 41 months in prison and ordered to pay $10.9 million in restitution.

Skultety, chief executive of American Paramount Financial, and unidentified co-conspirators scammed at least 42 customers between 2009 and 2010. The borrowers were told loans would be provided through American Paramount and secured with a stand-by letter of credit from Wells Fargo Bank, according to an IRS press release.

However, the borrowers had to pay American Paramount an upfront lender fee of about 2 percent of the requested loan amount, but the company never applied for a letter of credit from Wells Fargo and no loans were funded. Skultety and his co-conspirators kept the 2 percent fees which totaled about $14.3 million during the two years.

He since paid back nearly $4 million, resulting in a loss of $10.3 million.

In court, defense attorneys stated the money supported a lavish lifestyle. Skultety took 20 or more guests on a private jet to the 2010 Super Bowl in Miami and took many gambling trips to Las Vegas.

Skultety is scheduled to begin his prison term in April. The investigation was conducted by the FBI and the IRS.