Kevin Pastrick pled guilty on May 14 to conspiracy and bribery in the failed investment of $10 million in union pension funds in property from which Pastrick and Manous profited. Among the 15 counts of the original indictment, to which Pastrick pled guilty, were conspiracy, bribery, false statements and obstruction of justice. Former Indiana State Dem. head Peter Manous and Gerry Nannenga, exec. treasurer-secy. of the Ind. Reg. Council. Of Carpenters and a trustee of its pension fund, have already pled guilty for their roles in the scheme.
Asst. U.S. Attny. Thomas Kirsch II said that the evidence showed that the 3 met in the summer of 1998 and conspired to use union pension funds under Nannenga’s influence to buy 55 acres of property known as Coffee Creek. After the union purchased the undeveloped land in March 1999, Pastrick received a $600,000 commission. Pastrick paid the then-state Dem. chief $200,000, and those 2 then paid Nannenga $45,000 plus another $20,000 in taxes that Nannenga owed. The pension fund-owned land has continued to go undeveloped.
After the U.S. Dept. of Labor began investigating complaints that the union overpaid for the property in 2002, Manous and Pastrick created a fictitious business, and made out checks in the amount of the kickbacks to Nannenga’s wife for what they claimed was work done for that business. Nannega’s wife was not charged in the case. The only remaining defendant is Pastrick’s business partner, Carl Paul Ihle, Jr., who has pled not guilty and is scheduled to stand trial in July. Pastrick is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 19. [The Times, Munster IN, 5/15/04]