The Herald Bulletin

November 5, 2013

Brizzi associate sentenced, fined in fraud case


The Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — A federal judge sentenced an Indianapolis attorney to two years on probation and fined him $10,000 Monday for lying on an application for a loan he used to buy an Elkhart office building that was leased to the state.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Miller Jr. declined prosecutors' request for prison time after Paul Page struck a plea agreement in which he admitted a wire fraud charge and agreed to cooperate in a federal investigation of former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi. Brizzi has not been charged.

Page didn't disclose on the loan application that he had accepted a second loan to cover a $370,000 down payment on the property that was leased to the Indiana Department of Child Services, The Indianapolis Star and the Indianapolis Business Journal reported.

Page's attorney, Robert Hammerle, described the offense as an "isolated technical violation" that is common.

Two co-defendants of Page, John Bales and William Spencer, were acquitted on all 13 counts they faced in February.

Miller rejected prison time for Page because, he said, the crime resulted in no losses to either the lender or the state. He said Page, a father of three without a criminal record, did not pose a danger of offending again.

Page gave Brizzi a 50 percent ownership stake in the building as a finder's fee for helping him line up the project through Bales, an Indianapolis businessman who had a contract to find office space for state agencies.

U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett announced last month that Brizzi had been the target of a federal investigation that found no evidence that Brizzi took bribes during his two terms as prosecutor.