Pawleys Island man charged with 22 counts of mail fraud

sjones@thesunnews.comDecember 14, 2013 

A Pawleys Island man has been indicted by a grand jury in Atlanta on multiple counts of wire fraud, conspiracy and obstructing an investigation of the Securities and Exchange Commission that could put him in prison for 450 years.

The criminal charges against Stanley J. Kowalewski follow 2012 civil judgment in which he was fined $16.8 million for mishandling investments in a firm called SJK that he had when he lived in Greensboro, N.C.

Kowalewski could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

In 2010, Kowalewski purchased a $3.9 million home in Pawleys Island which he lost in the SEC proceeding. It was the most expensive home sold in Georgetown County that year.

Kowalewski reportedly was an assistant coach for the Waccamaw Middle School basketball team, but was not listed as part of the school staff Friday on its website. He formerly coached sports teams in Greensboro.

The federal grand jury charged Kowalewski for allegedly defrauding investors in his company by diverting money among accounts and then using the money to benefit him and his family.

“Kowalewski is charged with stealing from the investors who trusted him and then repeatedly lying to them and the SEC about his self-dealing,” said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates in a press release from the FBI.

His alleged victims included pension funds, schools, hospital, and other non-profits who lost over $8 million, according to the release.

Kowalewski was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Nov. 20, the release said.

SJK chief financial officer Michael J. Fulcher pleaded guilty in April of conspiring with Kowalewski to obstruct the SEC proceeding, which carries a maximum sentence of five years. He has not yet been sentenced.

According to the FBI, Kowalewski created documents after the fact that tried to give legitimacy to the transfer and use of funds at SJK. Kowalewski then allegedly lied about the documents in testimony during the SEC proceeding.

Investors have filed a suit against SJK auditors in federal court in Greensboro, N.C., according to news reports.

The federal grand jury charged Kowalewski with 22 counts of wire fraud, each carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and one count each of conspiracy and obstructing the SEC proceeding, which could add another 10 years to the sentence.

Each of the charges also carries a fine of up to $250,000 for a total of $5.9 million.

Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765.

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