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[UPDATE] Silver Slipper Owner Found Guilty of Fraud

By: Eyewitness News, Julie Montanaro Email
By: Eyewitness News, Julie Montanaro Email

*** Update 9-17-2010 5:38 PM ***

The former owner of the now-closed Silver Slipper restaurant has just been found guilty of bank fraud.

The jury deliberated for about two horus before coming back with a pair of guilty verdicts against Bill Kalfas.

The jury found Kalfas guilty of bank fraud and providing false financial statements.

Sentencing is set for December.

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UPDATED 9.17.2010 4pm by Julie Montanaro

The former owner of the now-closed Silver Slipper restaurant is awaiting a verdict in his federal bank fraud trial. The jury started deliberating at about 3:15pm.

Bill Kalfas is accused of pledging the same restaurant furnishings and collateral on two different bank loans and receiving those loans 14 days apart.

In closing arguments this afternoon, federal prosecutor Jason Coody told the jury the case was "not about default, but deceipt" and "not about filings, but falsehoods."

Coody says Kalfas asked for and received a $65,000 loan from Wakulla Bank in June 2008 and then two weeks later, pledged the same items as collateral for a $75,000 loan from ProBank.

Kalfas's attorney, Steven Andrews, contends Kalfas did not pledge the same items as collateral and had more than enough appraised furnishings and equipment to back up both loans.

Andrews says bankers at ProBank knew about the loan from Wakulla Bank within days of signing their loan, but didn't file any fraud reports, or even tell the bank president about it for another nine months when Kalfas declared bankruptcy.

We'll keep you posted on a verdict.
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[UPDATE] - (9/17 2:10PM)

The bank fraud trial for Bill Kalfas, owner of the now-closed Silver Slipper Restaurant, got underway in a federal courtroom in Tallahassee on Thursday, September 16.

By 2 p.m., both the prosecution and the defense rested and the attorneys were preparing to make their closing arguments. The jury should begin deliberating late this afternoon.

Stay tuned to Eyewitness News and WCTV.TV for the very latest.

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For decades, the Silver Slipper was a Tallahassee landmark. In fact, it was the place for Florida's heavy-hitting politicos to dine.

But after 71 years, the iconic restaurant suddenly closed its doors in April 2009. A casualty of the economy.

Now, a new shocker. This time, regarding its well-known owner.

A federal grand jury has formally charged 56-year-old Clarence "Bill" Kalfas with bank fraud and making false statements to influence the actions of a financial institution.

The U.S. Attorney's Office claims in July 2008, Kalfas fraudulently pledged certain business furniture, fixtures, and equipment of the Silver Slipper as collateral for a loan from Probank. But he failed to let them know that he'd previously pledged the same items to Wakulla Bank as collateral for an earlier loan.

If convicted, Kalfas faces a maximum of 30 years' imprisonment and fines of up to $1 million on each of the two counts.

The trial of this case is scheduled for August 2, 2010.


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