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Anchorage print shop equipment auctioned to pay debt

Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- People looking for deals packed Frontier Printing Services Friday for a liquidation auction of equipment once used by the Anchorage business that was damaged in what police initially called a hate crime.

Also on Friday, a federal judge denied a request by the shop's owner, Nezar ''Mike'' Maad, to move his bank fraud trial to a later date.

The auction was like a huge garage sale, with no promises as to what worked or how bad the damage was. But much of the equipment, especially the large printing presses, was in surprisingly good shape, printers said.

''He had nice stuff. He went all out,'' Glenn Bracale, owner of Professional Colorgraphics, told the Anchorage Daily News.

Frontier Printing closed in December, three days after Maad was arrested on federal bank fraud charges. At the time, his wife, Joanne, said ''it would be irresponsible of me to incur further debt.''

The Maads did not attend Friday's auction, which was arranged by Northrim Bank. The bank sought the sale to help recover what's due on its $242,000 government-backed business loan to Frontier.

The loan was guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration and went into default with $204,000 still due, according to Ron Veltkamp, an SBA business development officer.

''Sales like this hardly ever cover the loan amount,'' Veltkamp said.

The Maads received massive community sympathy after someone damaged print shop equipment and wrote ''We hate Arabs'' on a wall about 10 days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Mike Maad is Arab-American and vice president of Bridge Builders, a local group promoting diversity. People donated more than $93,000, most to a fund created to help the Maads. They received $34,000 of the money.

No charges have been filed with regard to the damage. Joanne Maad has not been accused of any crime.

The FBI said it discovered bank fraud while investigating the damage. Maad is accused of inflating his business worth to get the $242,000 loan, as well as a line of credit, and financing from a leasing company. He also is accused of making false statements to the Small Business Administration by failing to reveal his 1986 bankruptcy filing and two shoplifting convictions.

Maad has been released from custody but is generally restricted to his home other than for court appearances, meetings with his attorney or medical needs.

In Friday's court hearing, U.S. District Judge James Singleton Jr. denied Maad's request to move his bank fraud trial, scheduled to begin Feb. 4, to a later date.

The judge did not rule on the defense's request to move the trial out of Anchorage, but said it is unlikely that will happen.



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