Strodtman sentenced to 31 years in prison

GREELEY – A Weld County judge sentenced convicted racketeer Mark Strodtman yesterday afternoon to 31 years in prison.

A jury on Nov. 18 convicted Strodtman of 23 criminal counts including one count of a pattern of racketeering under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act; 11 counts of theft of $15,000 or more; and 11 counts of forgery of a check or commercial instrument.

Strodtman’s charges could have carried a maximum sentence of 378 years — 48 years for the COCCA count, 24 years for each theft count and six years for each forgery count. Weld District Court Judge Marcelo Kopcow handed down 24 years for the COCCA count, four years for one of the theft counts and three years for one of the forgery counts. Strodtman was sentenced to four and three years for each of the remaining theft and forgery counts, but those sentences will run concurrently with the others.

He had been indicted in March 2008 in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme. The indictment asserted he induced, or directed others to induce, buyers by agreeing to pay them a kickback from the proceeds of the sale of the homes, under-representing the amount of the monthly mortgage payments, and encouraging them to occupy the home prior to closing the sale.

It also alleged that Strodtman assisted in securing financing for the purchase of JS Real Estate’s homes by providing lenders with false information, including inflated incomes and assets and falsely verified employment and outstanding loans.

Strodman failed to turn himself in to the sheriff’s department after the charges were filed, and was subsequently arrested as a fugitive in Mexico in September 2008. He was transported back to the Weld County Jail the following month.

Strodtman’s business partner in JS Real Estate, Dean Juhl, pleaded guilty on Feb. 13, 2009, to theft of $15,000 or more and to second-degree forgery. He received a four-year deferred sentence, will serve 30 days in jail, complete 100 hours of community service and pay restitution.