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MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced that on March 28, 2014, at a hearing in front of Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Todd Ziegler, Edward Van Der Molen was convicted after entering a plea of guilty to the charge of theft by contractor, a class G felony. At sentencing, the charge carries a maximum possible penalty of ten years of imprisonment and a fine of $25,000. One count of racketeering activity and one count of securities fraud may be read-in for purposes of sentencing and restitution, pending the result of further litigation in the case. A hearing in this matter is scheduled for June 2, 2014, at 1 pm.
According to the criminal complaint, Edward Van Der Molen offered and sold investment contracts, calling them either “net lease agreements” or “lease-back agreements” in connection with the sale of investment properties at the “Three Bears Resort” in Warrens, Wisconsin. The terms of the agreements and other statements made to potential investors were made to induce the investor to buy into the investment properties. Van Der Molen did not disclose information about his or his company’s failure to pay various financial obligations associated with the investment. In addition, Van Der Molen withheld the fact that his company was losing millions of dollars in the years leading up to the sales at issue in the complaint. By not disclosing the financial information, he misled his investors with his promises of a return on their investment. These facts and circumstances form the basis for the racketeering and securities charges. Additionally, Van Der Molen entered into a contract whereby he accepted more than $80,000 that was to be used for building a customer’s villa; however, Van Der Molen spent that money on something other than building the customer’s villa. These facts and circumstances form the basis for the theft by contractor charge.
The charge is the result of an investigation by the Department of Financial Institutions. Assistant Attorney General Eric D. Défort represents the State of Wisconsin as the special prosecutor for the County of Monroe.
A copy of the criminal complaint is available here.