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1/13/2014 4:56:00 PM
LdF man faces court appearance in 2010 racketeering, fraud case
Kevin Maulson accused of failing to make restitution payments as part of plea agreement

A Lac du Flambeau man originally charged in 2010 with 14 charges related to racketeering and fraud, and who reached a deferred entry judgment plea deal in the case, will make an appearance in Vilas County Circuit Court Friday, Jan. 17, after allegedly failing to comply with terms of the agreement.

Kevin D. Maulson, 52, had been charged with five counts of theft from a business setting greater than $10,000, eight counts of making false statements in a securities sale and a single count of racketeering. 

But as part of a deal with special prosecutor Marty Lipske of Iron County, Maulson entered guilty pleas in 2010 to two counts of theft from a business setting and a single count of making false statements in a securities sale. The 11 other charges were to be read into the record at the time of his sentencing.

As part of the agreement, Maulson was to pay restitution to the victims in the case of more than $1.2 million. He was to make yearly, equal payments over a 10-year period.

Also as part of the agreement, in 2010 Judge Neal Nielsen did not accept Maulson’s guilty pleas. Instead, the pleas were ordered to be held until such time as the victims receive all of their restitution, or until the end of the 10-year period if all the money is repaid, whichever came first.

At the Jan. 17 hearing, because Maulson allegedly has not complied with terms of the agreement, Nielsen could then accept Maulson’s earlier guilty pleas and order a sentence.

Maulson faces a possible maximum sentence on the three charges of 27 years in prison and or fines totaling $55,000. He would also be a convicted felon, which could hamper him in any future business dealings he might attempt to undertake.


Behind in restitution payments

According to the motion seeking the new hearing filed by Lipske on Dec. 31, 2013, Maulson was late in making some of the required restitution payments and Maulson “has not remitted the remaining payment of $67,419 due on the 2012 installment plan, nor the 2013 installment, which was due on July 1, 2013, of $126,492, leaving a total due of $193,911.”

According to documents accompanying Lipske’s request for the hearing, it had been calculated Maulson owed $1,264,918 in restitution. The documents indicated Maulson had repaid only about $185,565 of the more than $1.2 million he owed in restitution.


Original criminal complaint

According to the criminal complaint, Maulson received investments totaling more than $1.2 million from 10 individuals or businesses who were never repaid. 

If he had been convicted on all of the original charges, Maulson faced a maximum of up to $210,000 in fines or 119 years in prison or both.

According to the complaint, the charges relate to business transactions at AmeriCash Inc., a business Maulson owned and operated.

AmeriCash was a corporation that was registered in the state of Nevada and was engaged in the operation of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) located primarily in various American Indian casinos around the United States and Canada.

Bradley G. Trapp, one of the victims in the case who filed a complaint June 23, 2004, along with other investors, said they invested money with Maulson and AmeriCash during the calendar years 2001, 2002 and 2003. Trapp said in the complaint that investments were made with the understanding that the money was to be used as “vault cash,” the currency used to stock the ATMs. The complaint states that during those years, the investors made many investments with Maulson.

According to the “security agreements” signed by either Maulson or Trapp at the time of the investments, each investor, according to the complaint, was to receive interest on their investments plus a portion of the transaction fee stemming from each ATM transaction.

After placing investments with AmeriCash, the parties involved received regular payments. However, those payments stopped in the summer of 2003. According to Trapp, part of the reason was that casinos began purchasing and stocking their own ATMs, thus eliminating the need for the service from AmeriCash.

Before Trapp relinquished his role as president and left AmeriCash, he secured check registers for the company between the dates of June 1 and Dec. 3, 2003.

According to a review of the documents by then-Det. Sgt. Frank Tomlanovich of the Vilas County Sheriff’s Department, checks from the AmeriCash account were issued by Maulson for his personal use or expenses not related to the operation of AmeriCash.

The complaint said these expenses included, but were not limited to, payments of various vendors for goods and services related to KM Motor Sports, Rolling Thunder Speedway, North American Fireworks, Arrowhead Investments (Ron Lemmer and Robert Prueher) for the purchase of Fireside Restaurant, property taxes for Fireside Restaurant, property taxes for property owned by Thomas Maulson, wages for employees at Fireside Restaurant, advertising for Fireside Restaurant and moving expenses for Ojibwe Enterprises.

The criminal complaint filed in Vilas County also refered to a federal tax lien and defaulted loans in which Maulson owed a total of more than $2.3 million to agencies in both Wisconsin and California.

A search warrant was issued and executed Sept. 21, 2001, where financial records and bank account statements for AmeriCash and other businesses Maulson had interest in were seized from AmeriCash Inc. in Lac du Flambeau. 

Those records indicated money from the AmeriCash Union Bank of California account was used to pay for the expenses of Maulson’s other enterprises. These were Maulson Incorporated, Rolling Thunder Speedway, AmeriCash (F&M Bank), North American Fireworks, Resource International, Bank of America/Kevin Maulson, Native American Cash Systems, Fireside Restaurant and Now Cash LTD.

After funds were disbursed into other accounts over which Maulson had control, they included multiple other expenses, according to the complaint.

Former AmeriCash investors Ron Lemmer and Robert Prueher of Arrowhead Investment also provided information against Maulson included in the complaint.

Lemmer and Prueher jointly invested $450,000 in AmeriCash under the same assumptions as Trapp – that they would be given monthly payments coming from interest in the account and transaction fees. 

They both stopped receiving payments in 2003, which is when they demanded a return of their investment money. It was then, according to the complaint, that they were told by Maulson someone else had the funds, the complaint said. Maulson told the two men that the account had been emptied, but he would get it worked out.

According to the complaint, Prueher was told by Maulson that someone had stolen the money from the account and felt Lemmer knew about it.

Ultimately, neither Prueher nor Lemmer received any of their $450,000 back from Maulson. A civil suit was filed which led to the foreclosure sale of Fireside Restaurant.

None of the investors knew of Maulson’s $2.3 million in back taxes, liens and default loans when entering the investment contracts.

According to the website for the Tribal Internet Gaming Alliance (TIGA), Kevin Maulson is one of the organizers of the enterprise.

TIGA is an alliance of Native American tribes working collectively to bring Internet gaming to the tribes within the framework of tribal, state and federal laws.

Joe VanDeLaarschot may be reached at joe@lakelandtimes.com.

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