On the same day that he was fired as a minor-league coach for the San Diego Padres, former Padre slugger Nate Colbert was indicted Thursday on 12 felony counts involving fraudulent loan applications.
Colbert, 44, the Padres' all-time home run leader with 163, was indicted by a federal grand jury on eight counts of bank fraud and four counts of making false statements on loan applications, according to U.S. Atty. William Braniff.
Assistant U.S. Atty. William Q. Hayes said that Nathan Colbert Jr., who during his playing days was always known as Nate, "knowingly listed as assets real estate he did not own on loan applications."
Under counts 1 through 8, Colbert could be sentenced to a total of 40 years in prison and a $2-million fine, Braniff said. The maximum penalty under counts 9 through 12 is eight years in prison and a $1-million fine.
Padre officials confirmed Thursday that, among a number of managerial changes this week, Colbert was relieved of his duties as a coach with the team's Class A franchise in Riverside. The firing was apparently unrelated to the indictment.
Colbert now faces "a surrender date" with the FBI, "or he could be arrested, although he isn't under arrest now," said Hayes, who's prosecuting the case. "But no court date or surrender date has been established at this time," he added.
Hayes said Colbert had been under investigation by a federal grand jury in San Diego "for some time." The indictment charges that, between Feb. 10, 1988, and December, 1989, Colbert made false statements on four separate Cuyamaca Bank of Santee loan applications for the purpose of influencing the bank to approve or extend eight loans totaling about $138,000.
Colbert is alleged to have listed as an asset on four applications 16 acres in Maine that he did not own at the time the applications were submitted to the bank, the indictment says. On the applications, he valued the Maine real estate at between $150,000 and $198,000, Hayes said. The indictment also alleges that Colbert understated a liability owed on 50 acres of Texas real estate.
Hayes said Colbert has no criminal record.
At 6-foot-2 and 209 pounds, first baseman Colbert entered the major leagues with the Houston Astros in 1966. He spent his last six seasons in San Diego. He established a major-league record on Aug. 1, 1972, by hitting five home runs and driving in 13 runs during a double-header.
A congenital back problem ended Colbert's major-league career, a spokeswoman for the Padres said Thursday. He had just finished his fourth season as a coach with the Riverside Red Wave.
Colbert, who the Padres say lives with his wife and children in Sandy, Utah, was unavailable for comment late Thursday.