[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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  • by Rob Location: Tallahassee on Jan 10, 2011 at 02:38 PM
    Bill, We all wish you the best. I know from personal experience the pressure of a failing business, and the price of personal decisions. I hope this is a growth opportunity for you and that you come away stronger and with a bright future. Many people will support your new beginnings. GOOD FORTUNE
  • by Chris Location: Miami on Sep 23, 2010 at 02:50 PM
    Bill Kalfas is one the most honest and caring men I have met. This sounds like a complete injustice. For those of you with negative comments, I doubt you have helped as many people as he did.... Jealous much? I'll add more later.
  • by One of the Thomas Boys Location: Tallahassee on Sep 22, 2010 at 06:40 AM
    Hye bill i dont know if you been reading all this just to let you know that you were always a nice guy to my whole family and i hope for the best out of this every time i came their i had a blast and a lot of fun man Keep you head up man from the Thomas Family here
  • by Wise Owl Location: In the dark woods on Sep 21, 2010 at 12:06 PM
    to Brace: Or should that be Bruce? Collateral? What Collateral?? Harvey has never had to pledge collateral. When you got the arms ( and the strong arms and the SA and the "fill in the blank") you don't need no stinking collateral. If he and his friends had to put up collateral our bank wouldn't be getting ready to fail.
  • by Seriously? Location: Tally on Sep 20, 2010 at 01:42 PM
    Just so I understand what you all are saying....what this guy did was OK because he was a "good guy" who was just trying to save his failing business?? And shame on the gubment for wasting dollars prosecuting this case? Seriously?? Seriously?!?! So how did you feel about Enron? They were just trying to keep their business from failing! whatever y'all...good guy or not, fraud is fraud no matter how small. And if enough "good guys with small businesses" commit fraud, it is just as devastating to the rest of us and the economy as one Enron.
  • by tbizzy Location: tallahassee on Sep 20, 2010 at 09:53 AM
    All i can say is that bill is a good man that mad a bad decision which was influenced by hard times.. No excuse, but i will say if you ask 100 people what they think about him they will say that he is a good man that always treated people with respect....
  • by hmmmm Location: Tallahassee on Sep 19, 2010 at 11:34 AM
    Guessing he will not be eating steak in prison, only hot-dogs...
  • by Eddie on Sep 18, 2010 at 07:16 PM
    To all that has wrote something bad about Bill! He is a very hard working man that would do anything for anybody. I beleive you people need to grow up and realize how hard it is to run and keep a business up and running. To the lady who said the bathroom was nasty I would say you probably have a nasty house but you have nothing better to do than blabber your lips. I will support Bill as much as needed and to all I hope you regret what you wrote bad about Bill.
  • by Disgusted on Sep 18, 2010 at 05:33 PM
    Tallahassee disgusts me anymore. The people who just did this to the Kalfas family probably don't even know them. In almost 50 years this family never missed hugging those who walked through the doors of the Slipper. You were welcomed with open arms and the hug was genuine. The people who have done this I'm certain were met with kindness and sincerity when they went in the restaurant - and I can't believe all the old timers who are behind this case have been to the Slipper many many times. Tallahassee, you disgust me. You act like you care, but in the end you have no conscience and no heart. This family just lost Jimmy back in January to a horrible outcome of a simple operation by a doctor locally. And now this. (shaking my head). This is how Tallahassee is - watch your back because you may end up with holes in it.
  • by rubye Location: tallahassee on Sep 18, 2010 at 04:10 PM
    Bill has been a true "stand-up" guy for Tallahassee. As for the food at Silver Slipper I never had a bad meal there ... the food & service was always awesome & I never say the restaurant "dirty". Don't compare Wakulla County's Harvey to Bill --- Harvey is no where near as good as man as Bill. My prayers are with Bill and his family.
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