Two added to chamber staff

Jeffrey Alderman
Jeffrey Alderman

The Kansas City, Kan., Area Chamber of Commerce has added two persons to its professional team.

Jeffrey Alderman is the new vice president of membership and sales. Most recently, he served as vice president of sales for Visit Topeka Inc., which is the convention and visitors bureau in Topeka. Prior to that, he was with the Kansas Bar Association. A Detroit area native, he brings 25 years of membership and administrative experience to the chamber. He and his wife, Brenda, have five children together.

Nolan Dees
Nolan Dees

Nolan Dees is the new director of finance. He recently relocated with his family from Amarillo, Texas. He brings 14 years of working in accounting capacities with various nonprofits as well as 13 years of corporate accounting experience. He received his degree in accounting from Texas Tech University. His wife, Susan, is a children’s ministry director and they have two children. Dees is working alongside George Turner, who will be retiring from the chamber at the end of July.

“The board and I are excited to have Jeff and Nolan join the Kansas City, Kan., Area Chamber of Commerce team,” said interim President Gregory Kindle. “Both of them bring a high level of professionalism, energy and focus to their respective positions.”

– Information from Kansas City, Kan., Area Chamber of Commerce

Johnson County man pleads guilty to defrauding bank

A Johnson County man pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to taking part in a fraud scheme that cost the Bank of Blue Valley more than $877,000, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.

Timothy P. Fitzgerald, 56, Leawood, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. In his plea, he admitted the crime took place while he was chief financial officer of KC United, LLC, which was a holding company for five construction services companies located in Kansas City, Kan.

KC United was a loan customer of the Bank of Blue Valley, which has offices in Johnson County. In 2008, KC United was losing money. Fitzgerald and other conspirators knew that KC United needed to show a profit in order to maintain its bank and bonding relationships, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. Fitzgerald and others manipulated KC United’s quarterly financial statements to falsely reflect a profit, authorities said. Fitzgerald delivered the falsified reports to the Bank of Blue Valley, which relied on the false information to renew the company’s line of credit.

Fitzgerald and other conspirators also prepared annual financial statements that contained falsified profits and a cover letter falsely stating that an outside accounting firm had reviewed the statement, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. The cover letter was placed on the letterhead of an outside accounting firm.

On April 28, 2011, three of the companies owned by KC United filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The Bank of Blue valley sold its position in the remaining outstanding loan to KC United, sustaining a loss of more than $877,000.

Blue Valley Ban Corp., the holding company for Bank of Blue Valley received more than $21 million in funding from the U.S. Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program.

“Bank of Blue Valley did not repay TARP and missed 18 quarterly dividend payments totaling $4.9 million, money owed to taxpayers as a result of the bank holding TARP funds,” said Christy Romero, special inspector general for TARP.

“Treasury sold its TARP investment in the bank at a principal loss of nearly $500,000, a loss in addition to uncollected TARP dividend payments,” Romero added.

Sentencing will be set for a later time. Fitzgerald faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison and a fine up to $1 million. Grissom commended the U.S. Department of Labor – OIG, the U.S. Department of Labor – EBSA, IRS Criminal Investigations, the FBI, the special investigator general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program investigated and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jabari Wamble for their work on the case.

New Bath and Body Works opens at Legends Outlets

Bath and Body Works will open at 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 4, at The Legends Outlets in Kansas City, Kan.

Bath and Body Works will occupy a 3,010-square-foot space next to Ann Taylor Factory Store by the Civic Courtyard Fountain at 1803 Village West Parkway M-129, according to a spokesman for the shopping center.

Bath and Body Works is a leading brand in the personal care industry offering shower gels, lotions, fragrance mists, perfumes, candles and home fragrances. It features new, fresh scents for body, hand and home. Bath and Body Works focuses on creating the highest quality fragrances, body lotions and anti-bacterial products using natural ingredients.

Other recent additions at Legends Outlets Kansas City include the Pizza Studio, Woody’s Automotive concept, full-service Nail Envy spa and the Coach Factory pop-up location.

“We think our customers will love how these newest additions help round out and complement the incredible shopping, dining and personal services already available at Legends Outlets,” said Jessica Bachtel, marketing director of Legends Outlets Kansas City.