COLUMBUS — A Columbus man accused of financial fraud and title violations in the purchase of a luxury SUV got a brief reprieve — and a few raised eyebrows — in district court when his defense attorney announced he wouldn’t be able to make a plea hearing.
Attorney Erik Klutman informed Platte County District Court Judge Robert Steinke and prosecutor Jose Rodriguez that Jason Svoboda would miss Wednesday's hearing because a close family member had been involved in a car accident in Lincoln.
Steinke took a sympathetic tone, agreeing to allow Svoboda to delay his plea to charges of theft by deception over $5,000 and certificate of title violations until Friday.
Klutman told the judge he expects his client to show up Friday and plead guilty after reaching an agreement with the prosecution.
The 41-year-old Columbus man’s case involves financial fraud in a scheme to secure loans from a local bank and a Lincoln-based credit union using the same 2016 GMC Yukon Denali as collateral without disclosing that information to the lenders.
According to court documents, Svoboda received a $72,950 personal loan in September 2015 from Liberty First Credit Union in Lincoln, pledging the SUV as collateral.
Court records also document Svoboda securing a $50,000 loan in October 2015 from First Nebraska Bank in Columbus, with the SUV again pledged as collateral.
Svoboda did not advise First Nebraska Bank of the existence of the first loan with Liberty First Credit Union, according to court documents.