Midway owner jailed for fraud
State and local law enforcement officials named as victims in complaint
May 13, 2009TRI-CITY AREA — Local municipal and law enforcement officials named as victims in the felony complaint leveled against Goodland Twp. resident Larry Wilcox have reportedly been subpoenaed to appear in an Eaton County courtroom on Monday.
Mike Hodges, Lapeer County's Chief Assistant Prosecutor, and Mavis Roy, Goodland Twp. clerk, confirmed that they've been told to plan on appearing for an exam in Wilcox's case next week. Wilcox faces eight felony counts for filing false/fraudulent financing statements against at least 40 people last summer through the state's Uniform Commercial Code. Wilcox allegedly placed liens on the victims' property without court order.
Roy said the situation has been aggravating. She pointed out that although 41 victims have been identified, most are married persons who hold property jointly.
"He's actually slapped liens on 82 people," Roy said, adding it has affected the family's business.
The list consists of persons Wilcox has faced in court for multiple cases since at least 2002.
Hodges was the prosecutor in three Lapeer County criminal trials where Wilcox was the defendant. In 2005, Wilcox was found guilty of four misdemeanors stemming from a 2002 raid on his business, Midway Disposal; he spent 30 days in jail the same year for resisting and obstructing a police officer and in December of that same year, he was convicted of obstructing a Department of Environmental Quality inspector.
Hodges said Wilcox apparently placed a lien on the prosecutor's estate, meaning he could lay claim to Hodges' assets upon his death.
Other familiar names on the list include Lapeer County Circuit Court Judge Nick Holowka and Goodland Twp. Supervisor Ron Cischke. Some of those cases were heard before Holowka. In 2004, Wilcox initiated a recall effort against Cischke, only to drop it soon after and unsuccessfully ran against him in the general election.
Recently, the township filed suit against Wilcox for not obtaining proper building permits.
"Each of the counts is a five-year felony," Matt Frendewey of the Michigan Attorney General's office said.
Others on the alleged Wilcox property lien list include Fourth District Court of Appeals Judge William Whitbeck and numerous Department of Environmental Quality officials.
Frendewey said Eaton County is where all Uniform Commercial Code cases are handled. The court case is being prosecuted by the Attorney General's office. A preliminary trial was held on Monday (May 11). As of Monday, he remained jailed in Eaton County on a $500,000 bond.
Police swarmed Wilcox's Clear Lake Rd. home on the morning of May 6, arresting him without incident. Witnesses who lived in the area said there was a helicopter in the air, SWAT teams, FBI agents and several other law enforcement departments in the vicinity of Wilcox's home at Clear Lake Rd. and M-53. Police at the scene requested that the media refrain from taking photographs since undercover police officers were present.
The same heavy police presence was used during the May 30, 2002 raid of his Burnside Twp. business, Midway Disposal. At that time, the Department of Environmental Quality said in a press release that earlier threats made against law enforcement officers prompted police to "respond with sufficient strength to protect the public and ensure that the situation remained under control." They identified Midway Disposal as the headquarters for a self-described militia group.
In 2005, Wilcox filed a complaint with the Attorney General's office accusing Holowka and other Lapeer County judges of 'inappropriate conduct.' He also requested an investigation into each through the state's judicial tenure commission.
Wilcox has long fought to keep any government official from entering his business property. His 30 day jail sentence for resisting and obstructing a police officer resulted from Wilcox allegedly shoving the door closed on Michigan State Trooper Dennis McGuckin's patrol car as the officer attempted to exit the vehicle. McGuckin had been in pursuit of a speeding motorist who pulled over in the Midway Disposal parking lot. Wilcox claimed that the whole traffic stop was contrived and was a ruse for police to enter his property. McGuckin is also one of the 41 victims listed in the current fraud case.