Wilcox faces federal prison
33 month sentence handed down to Goodland man for 'wild west' behavior
July 21, 2010TRI-CITY AREA — Goodland Twp. resident Larry Wilcox will spend 33 months in a federal prison for committing mail fraud and threatening retaliation against a federal judge.
Judge Paul Maloney handed down the sentence on Monday, giving Wilcox a 33 month
sentence for his retaliation conviction and 30 months for the mail fraud count, to be served consecutively. Wilcox must also pay a a $25,000 fine and submit to three years of supervised release.
Wilcox, 60, was found guilty on all charges in March in Maloney's Kalamazoo courtroom. He was released on a $10,000 bond but that bond was revoked and Wilcox was arrested and jailed in May after the judge received threatening correspondence from a James McBride who stated he was acting as Wilcox's trustee. According to a filing made by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hagen Frank, McBride is a convicted felon from Ohio who has engaged in "similar anti-government conduct." The document "like the mailings which were central to the offenses of conviction, is full of quasi-legal language, contains various demands, and threatens the public filing of lien notices if the recipient—in this case, the Hon. Paul L. Maloney—fails to comply with the letter's demands," wrote Frank.
In June, James Thomas requested that he step down as Wilcox's attorney, citing the threatening correspondence sent to Judge Maloney which was done without his knowledge. Thomas claimed there was a breakdown in the attorney-client relationship and on June 11 his request was granted.
Although Frank has some harsh words for Wilcox's character, he asked the judge not to impose the sentencing guideline range for Wilcox which was calculated at 21.83 to 27.25 years. Instead, Frank stated, that an incarceration up to five-years was sufficient.
"…the substance of this case is much more about anti-government, anti-authority and anti-social conduct than it is about fraud," Frank wrote in a sentencing memorandum.
Wilcox did not realize a financial gain from the lien filings but he did tarnish the public financial record of his victims, Frank stated.
"The public needs to be protected from this defendant because he is someone who genuinely believes that he is above the law for no better reason than he says so," wrote Frank.
"The court needs to impose a sentence that will get the message through to defendant that everything he thinks about the law, about his relationship with government, and about how he fits into society as a citizen of Michigan and a citizen of the United States, is just plain wrong."
Frank likened Wilcox's attitude to the law as though he lived in the wild west instead of 21st century Michigan.
"It is difficult to envision a case where the need to promote respect for law, and respect for the basic responsibilities of citizenship, is more apparent," said Frank.
In July 2008, Wilcox filed a false lien against the real and personal property of U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds, who had ruled against Wilcox in a civil suit he had filed against the U.S. District Court in 2005. Wilcox filed the suit saying his First Amendment rights have been violated when state officials attempted to perform regulatory inspections at Wilcox's business, Midway Disposal in Burnside Twp.
The mail fraud charge was related to the approximately 57 false liens Wilcox filed against other township, county and state officials. Those named as victims were Goodland Twp. Supervisor Ron Cischke, Twp. Clerk Mavis Roy, Lapeer County Circuit Court Judge Nick Holowka, former Lapeer County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Michael Hodges and Michigan State Police troopers, among many others.
Wilcox was originally arrested and charged by Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox's office. The case was turned over to federal authorities in June 2009.
Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she now resides north of Capac where she enjoys working on the farm, gardening and reading.