Meanwhile, he also faces sentencing for income tax evasion in a different matter. Stenstrom could get five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or both, on that offense. He has agreed to pay $1.9 million in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.Nebraska Examiner is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Nebraska Examiner maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Cate Folsom for questions: [email protected]. Follow Nebraska Examiner on Facebook and Twitter.Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site.As part of his sentence, he also agreed to forfeit his interest in a 2020 McLaren 600LT Spider, multiple trucks, various items of jewelry, a residence in Arizona, multiple properties in Nebraska, currency and multiple life insurance policies worth in excess of $2 million.
Jeffrey Stenstrom, 42, of Omaha, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering. He faces up to 20 years in prison, a fine of $500,000 or twice the amount of the laundered funds, or both, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Omaha.Senior Reporter Paul Hammel has covered the Nebraska state government and the state for decades. Previously with the Omaha World-Herald, Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha Sun, he is a member of the Omaha Press Club’s Hall of Fame. He grows hops, brews homemade beer, plays bass guitar and basically loves traveling the state. A native of Ralston, Nebraska, he is vice president of the John G. Neihardt Foundation.
LINCOLN — An Omaha man has agreed to surrender his McLaren sports car and pay $5 million in restitution as part of a plea agreement for a federal money laundering charge.Nebraskans want accountability from their elected officials and government. They want to know whether their tax dollars are being well-spent, whether state agencies and local governments are responsive to the people and whether officials, programs and policies are working for the common good. The Nebraska Examiner is a nonprofit, independent news source committed to providing news, scoops and reports important to our state.
During this past winter, which was mild, prosecutors say, the Cooks billed eight Darland customers $194,000 for snow removal — eight times what the bill should have been ($24,000).In one case, Darland had paid a subcontractor $121,000 for material to repave a parking lot. Brett Cook called the subcontractor and told him to reimburse Midwest Property — not Darland — for the materials. Darland Properties, an Omaha-based company, has filed a court action against Brett Cook’s estate, saying they have “claims for fraud … against the (deceased) and the Estate.” In November 2019, Brett Cook and Stenstrom stopped using Stenstrom Services to help out with properties. Instead, Cook and his brother formed Midwest Property Maintenance — which the feds say was a new name for the same game.Prosecutors say the government is also entitled to the $74,000 in cash it found at Cook’s residence in the Woodcliff Lakes area south of Fremont, along with another $75,000 in a bank account.
Now, federal authorities are investigating Cook’s former domestic partner and business partner, Jeff Stenstrom, and his brother, Brian Cook, according to a press release this week from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Court records show Stenstrom also is awaiting sentencing for federal income tax evasion after prosecutors allege he failed to file tax returns over several years and failed to claim about $2 million in income that his company received from Cook.Federal agents raided the home of a Darland Properties vice president in May, seizing expensive jewelry and more than $74,000 cash, almost all of it in $100 bills.
“Acting on his own accord without the knowledge of or direction from Darland Properties, Mr. Cook directly received a financial benefit from fraudulently obtained proceeds and concealed his unlawful activity from Darland Properties and its clients,” the company said.If the cars weren’t enough, federal officials say, Cook and Stenstrom purchased a gallery worth of expensive jewelry, including: a $54,000 Rolex Daytona watch; a $52,000 18-karat adjustable chain and four hearts solitaire pendant; a $34,400 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Daytona White Mop8 watch; a $28,300 Hublot Bing Bang watch; a $19,000 DIA 18-inch necklace; an $8,300 Zenith El Primero watch; four Rolex Oyster perpetual watches that ranged in price from $6,000 to $18,000 each; a $13,800 hockey player pendant and a $10,000 18 karat yellow gold hockey goalie pendant; a $14,500 18-karat diamond ring with sapphires; a $13,800 18-karat white gold bull rider pendant; a $3,500 18-karat white gold lady’s ring with sapphires and diamonds; a $2,000 Astron SS brace watch; an $8,700 Breitling Navitimer watch; and a $4,800 Breitling Aviator 8 Curtiss Warhawk watch.An Omaha, Nebraska, man pled guilty to money laundering in a more than $5.1 million scheme involving his remodeling and repair company billing clients for work that hadn’t started, overbilling other clients for work that was done and sending false insurance invoices, the U.S. Department of Justice announced. Stenstrom also has a pending sentencing for income tax evasion in which he faces up to five years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine and will pay just under $2 million in restitution to the IRS, according to the release. Stenstrom and his partner, Brett A. Cook, embezzled upward of $5.1 million from Omaha property management company Darland Properties LLC, which Cook was vice president of, according to Stenstrom’s plea deal. Stenstrom and Cook obtained the money by overbilling for contracting work, billing for work that was not performed and obtaining insurance proceeds from the fraudulent invoices. Under the plea agreement, Stenstrom faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000, twice the amount of the laundered funds or both. Stenstrom has also agreed to pay restitution of no less than $5.1 million to Darland Properties, according to the release.