DA says state statutes prohibit prosecution for bad SIST check

The Shawano Leader/July 26, 2006
By Tim Ryan

No charges will be filed against the Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology or its subsidiaries in relation to a check for more than $200,000 to the City of Shawano that came back twice for non sufficient funds.

The city had referred the bounced check to the Shawano County District Attorney’s office, but district attorney Gary Robert Bruno said that state statutes prevent any consideration of criminal charges in this case.

Chapter 943.24 of state statutes outlines the conditions for prosecuting the issuance of a worthless check. However, one provision of the statute, detailed in 943.24(4), makes exceptions for postdated checks, or checks written to cover a past due bill.

"This section does not apply to a postdated check or to a check given for a past consideration, except a payroll check," the provision states. In other words, no criminal charges could be filed in this case because the check was meant to cover property taxes that were already delinquent.

Bruno said there is also no case to be made for charges of fraud because there were no material possessions or property obtained through the writing of the check.

Statutes do, however, provide for the city to take civil action. City officials would say only that they are reviewing their options.

According to the city, a check in the amount of $204,262.34 from Midwest Properties of Shawano, LLC, to cover delinquent property and motel room taxes twice failed to clear the bank due to insufficient funds. Midwest Properties is a subsidiary of the Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology.

The check was delivered to the city on June 30, the day before beer and liquor and other licenses were due to expire. Under city ordinances, those licenses could not be issued until all property and motel room taxes were paid.

The city is still awaiting payment, which now must be made in cash, under the city’s bad check policy.

Mayor Lorna Marquardt said Tuesday she has been told that the group was still in the process of obtaining a loan to pay the debt.

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