July 20, 2018
By Bob Coleman
Editor, Fraud Friday
Fraud Friday — Borrower Continues FInancial Fraud while on Bond, Jailed
Life got harder for Wisconsin businessman Ron Van Den Heuvel after a judge ordered him jailed following allegations that he continued to commit crimes while free on bond.
Van Den Heuvel was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and faces another 14 counts of wire fraud and money laundering for allegedly bilking investors out of $9 million for his now-defunct Green Box recycling company.
In January 2008, Van Den Heuvel persuaded a Horicon Bank loan officer, Paul Piikkila, to approve a $250,000 loan to one of Van Den Heuvel’s companies. Thereafter, Horicon Bank officials instructed Piikkila not to loan any additional funds to Van Den Heuvel or his businesses because Van Den Heuvel posed too great a credit risk. To skirt that instruction, Van Den Heuvel and Piikkila arranged a series of loans, totaling over $1 million, to straw borrowers for the benefit of Van Den Heuvel and his business entities. The straw borrowers had no intention of paying back the loans and believed that Van Den Heuvel would be responsible for the loans.
The straw borrowers included Van Den Heuvel’s live-in nanny, who depended upon the Van Den Heuvels for her livelihood. Another straw borrower was Van Den Heuvel’s administrative assistant.
In ordering him back to jail, U.S. District Court Judge William Griesbach said it Van Den Heuvel continues to commit crimes.
On July 6, Federal authorities told the court that Van Den Heuvel fraudulently obtained a $20,000 loan from a New York lender, spending nearly half of the money at an upscale northeastern Wisconsin country club.
Court records indicate that Van Den Heuvel and his family spent over $18,000 at the Oneida Golf & Country Club over a 7-month period while claiming to the court that he was broke and in need of a public defender.
While Van Den Heuvel testified that the loan proceeds were used exclusively for business expenses, receipts show that most of the money was used for golf equipment, lessons, and food and drinks for his wife and children.
U.S. Attorney Matthew Krueger said that the government continued to monitor Van Den Heuvel after discovering he told his probation officer that he intended to conduct “several complicated and sizable financial transactions in the near future.”
“Given Van Den Heuvel’s pattern of conduct in the past year, and the nature of the newly proposed transactions, the government has serious concerns about the legitimacy of these transactions,” Krueger stated in the motion.
Per the terms of his release on bond, Van Den Heuvel was prohibited from obtaining any financing above $500 without first getting approval from his probation officer. He was also ordered to provide monthly reports of income, bank statements, and disclose his fraud conviction to potential investors.
Authorities also claim that Van Den Heuvel engaged in witness intimidation through his contacts, and attempted to liquidate equipment that was secured by creditors.
His attorney argued that he should remain free to allow him to prepare his defense for his upcoming trial. However, Judge Griesbach rejected that request, ordering U.S. marshals to immediately take Van Den Heuvel into custody.