Judge nixes house arrest for man convicted in Ponzi scheme
DOVER — After serving 18 months in prison, the man who formerly chaired the school board will be released in October, but will not be allowed to return to the community he betrayed.
On July 3, 2013, Nickolas Skaltsis, 64, who previously lived on Erik Drive, was sentenced to serve 1½ to 5 years in prison for three counts of theft by deception and one count of theft by misappropriation.
Skaltsis, who served as School Board chairman in 2002, accepted the loans — from friends and associates — to rehabilitate distressed real estate properties for resale. He used some of the money for personal use, according to investigators from the state Bureau of Securities.
Earlier this month, a parole board determined Skaltsis could be released in October with the stipulation he could not live within Dover city limits.
As he has been in custody since April 15, 2013, Skaltsis is eligible to be released from the Northern N.H. Correctional Facility in Berlin on Oct. 24, according to court records.
On April 18, the state Corrections Department informed the court of its intention to allow Skaltsis into a work release program and allow him to leave prison for home confinement. Upon learning that the court initially approved the request, Assistant Attorney General Robert Adams objected to both actions, according to court records.
“Given the audacity of his crimes and the extent he took advantage of the trust he was accorded by friends and associates in the community, it is unlikely that Skaltsis has been rehabilitated. The additional suspended sentence imposed by the court also indicates that the sentencing court was skeptical with respect to his true rehabilitation in such a short period of time.” On June 9, Judge Tina Nadeau, chief justice of the state Superior Court, heard arguments about the matter. Two days later, Nadeau insisted Skaltsis remain in prison and that “nothing less than the minimum sentence should be served in this case.”
“While the court generally supports the Department of Corrections’ efforts to enhance rehabilitation by permitting certain inmates to participate in programs like work release and administrative home confinement, the court does not believe those programs are appropriate in this case,” Nadeau wrote. “This is a defendant who needs to serve his minimum sentence, which the court was originally reluctant to accept in light of its leniency, as retribution for his outrageous conduct."
Nadeau said Skaltsis betrayed the trust of his victims, who turned over their retirement funds “with a promise of sizeable returns on their investments.”
“Instead of delivering on his promises, he used deceit and manipulation to permanently deprive them of their life savings,” Nadeau wrote.
The investors provided Skaltsis with amounts ranging from $9,000 to $41,051.42, according to court records. Skaltsis remains under investigation by the state’s securities bureau.