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MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that Robert Niebauer made his initial appearance in Dane County Circuit Court on three counts of illegal transfer of encumbered property. A status conference has been scheduled for October 31, 2011.
According to the criminal complaint, Niebauer was a developer of a senior housing facility in Dubuque, Iowa. In order to secure a multi-million dollar loan for a separate construction project, Niebauer used the Dubuque property as collateral for the loan. He then sold individual ownership shares in the Dubuque property to various investors but never informed those investors that the property was being used as collateral. The investors told investigators that they would not have invested their savings with Niebauer had they been informed of his complete financial situation or the encumbrance on the property. As a result of these fraudulent transactions, the victims suffered financial losses in amounts up to $300,000 each.
Each individual charge against the defendant is a class E felony and carries a potential penalty of imprisonment up to 15 years and a $50,000 fine.
A criminal complaint is a document accusing a person of a violation of criminal law. A defendant enjoys a presumption of innocence. The prosecution must prove its allegations at trial beyond a reasonable doubt.
Assistant Attorney General David W. Maas is representing the State.
A copy of the criminal complaint is available at the following link.