GREEN BAY, Wisconsin (From news reports) -- Two employees of De Pere businessman Ronald Van Den Heuvel will be sentenced in 2019 for their role in a scheme to defraud a state economic development agency.
Tami Phillips and Philip Reinhart worked together to defraud the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. on Van Den Heuvel's behalf, according to Phillips' plea agreement, filed this week in federal court in Green Bay.
Van Den Heuvel is awaiting sentencing in federal court for fraudulently soliciting loans and investments to pursue his business, Green Box, which he represented as a plan to buy equipment for converting solid waste into consumer products and energy.
Under Van Den Heuvel's direction, Phillips and Reinhart fabricated records at Green Box in 2014 concerning training sessions for Green Box employees, to obtain $95,000 in WEDC grants. The documents spelled out individuals and training dates, when, in fact, no training actually occurred, according to court records.
Phillips had been working for Van Den Heuvel since 2002, while Reinhart began working for him in 2007, court records say. WEDC awarded a $95,500 grant to Green Box to reimburse the costs of training employees from 2012 to 2014 in waste sorting, fuel pellet production, and liquefaction manufacturing. Green Box was not regularly operating in that period, but Reinhart and Phillips drew up false records showing the training had occurred, court records say.
Phillips is scheduled for sentencing Jan. 10. Reinhart, who reached a plea agreement earlier this fall, will be sentenced Feb 4.
Van Den Heuvel, 65, already is serving a three sentence for defrauding Horicon Bank by taking loans based on false representations. He is scheduled for sentencing in federal court in January in the fraud case.
In his plea agreement in that case, Van Den Heuvel acknowledged he used investors' money for such things as Packers tickets, settling legal disputes, making court-ordered payments to his ex-wife and making mortgage and property tax payments.
Victims included WEDC, a Montreal-based investment firm and a Green Bay-area doctor.