For Immediate Release
Grand Jury Returns Indictments
MADISON, WIS. -- A federal grand jury in the Western District of Wisconsin, sitting in Madison, returned the following indictments today. You are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
Colorado Woman Charged With Kidnapping
Kristen Smith, a.k.a Kristen Pearson, 31, Aurora, Colo., is charged with kidnapping. The indictment alleges that on February 6, 2014, Smith kidnapped an individual in Wisconsin, and transported the individual to Iowa.
Smith was originally charged with this offense in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Madison on February 7. She was arrested in West Branch, Iowa on February 6 and has remained in custody since her arrest.
Smith will be brought to the Western District of Wisconsin by federal law enforcement officials this week. Her initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Madison is scheduled for Friday, February 21, at 3:00 p.m.
If convicted, Smith faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. The charge against her is the result of an investigation by the Town of Beloit Police Department; City of Beloit Police Department; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Rock County Sheriff’s Department; Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation; West Branch (Iowa) Police Department; Cedar County (Iowa) Sheriff’s Office; Iowa State Patrol; Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation; Illinois State Police; Wisconsin Statewide Information Center; and Illinois State Terrorism and Intelligence Center. The prosecution of this case will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie S. Pfluger.
Madison Man Charged With Wire Fraud
David Weimert, 63, Madison, Wis., is charged with six counts of wire fraud. The indictment alleges that from December 2008 until March 31, 2009, Weimert, while United States Attorney John W. Vaudreuil,Western District of Wisconsin working at Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin, Inc. (ABCW) as a Senior Vice-President in Lending Administration , and as the President of Investment Directions, Inc. (IDI), a wholly owned subsidiary of ABCW, devised and participated in a scheme to defraud IDI and obtain money by means of fraudulent pretenses. The indictment alleges that Weimert made material misrepresentations and omissions in an effort to obtain an ownership interest in Chandler Creek, a joint venture partnership formed to develop an industrial park in Round Creek, Texas, and in an effort to obtain a 4% commission fee as part of the sale of Chandler Creek.
The indictment also alleges that Weimert falsely represented to his superiors that the Burke Group, a commercial real estate developer in Costa Mesa, Calif., would purchase IDI’s share of Chandler Creek contingent on Weimert purchasing a minority interest of Chandler Creek as part of the deal, when it was Weimert who desired the minority interest for himself, not the Burke Group. The indictment alleges that as a result of Weimert’s misrepresentations and omissions, Weimert induced the IDI Board of Directors to accept the Burke Group’s offer to purchase Chandler Creek, along with Weimert receiving a 4.785% ownership interest as part of the deal and a 4% commission fee to Weimert, which totaled $311,680.
If convicted, Weimert faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison on each count of wire fraud. The charges against him are the result of an investigation by the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution of this case will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. Graber.
Altoona Man Charged With Filing False Corporate Tax Returns
Jared Jerome Hart, 35, Altoona, Wis., is charged with four counts of filing false corporate tax returns and one count of structuring financial transactions. The indictment alleges that between 2008 and 2011, Hart, the owner and sole shareholder of J&L Corporation of Eau Claire, which did business as the The Pickle Bar, underreported the gross receipts for the business in his Corporation Income Tax Forms for the tax years 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.
The indictment also charges Hart with structuring currency transactions with financial institutions from 2008 to 2011, to avoid the requirement of filing Currency Transaction Reports with the U.S. Treasury for cash transactions in excess of $10,000.
The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of $1.6 million if Hart is convicted of the structuring currency transactions offense charged in the indictment.
If convicted, Hart faces a maximum penalty of three years in federal prison on each count of filing false corporate tax returns, and five years in federal prison on the structuring count. The charges against him are the result of an investigation by IRS Criminal Investigation. The prosecution of this case will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith P. Duchemin.
Spring Valley Man Charged With Gun Crime
Michael V. Pierce, 40, Spring Valley, Wis., is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. The indictment alleges that on January 26, 2014, he possessed a loaded 20 gauge shotgun. If convicted, Pierce faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. The charge against him is the result of an investigation by the Spring Valley Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The prosecution of this case will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy M. O’Shea.
Federal Prison Inimate Charged With Assault
Chuck A. McKeeman, 36, an inmate of the Federal Correctional Institution at Oxford, Wis., is charged with assault. The indictment alleges that on January 20, 2014, he assaulted another person with a dangerous weapon, with the intent to do bodily harm.
If convicted, McKeeman faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. The charge against him is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution of this case will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Anderson.