Former boat dealer sentenced in fraud case

Published online: Jun 09, 2011 News Trade Only Today
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A former Wisconsin boat dealer who spent years on the run in Brazil was sentenced this week to five years in prison in connection with fraud schemes, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Leonard Kolschowsky, 68, pleaded guilty March 21, acknowledging he was responsible for nearly $1 million in losses related to a false loan application and other fraudulent conduct, the Superior Telegram newspaper reported.

Beginning in 2000, Kolschowsky, then an owner of the Boat Depot in Minong, executed schemes to defraud financial backers of the Boat Depot; defrauded others through a series of false loan applications for boats allegedly sold and concocted a bankruptcy scheme to conceal property rightfully belonging to the  creditors of the business.

In 2003, Kolschowsky began to negotiate a guilty plea, but fled the country to avoid prosecution. He was eventually found in Brazil and was arrested on Jan. 11, 2008.

He spent two years in prison in that country trying to avoid extradition.

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