Federal Grand Jury Returns Indictments
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 09, 2011|
MADISON, WI—A federal grand jury in the Western District of Wisconsin, sitting in Madison, returned the following indictments today. You are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
Eau Claire Man Charged with Mail Fraud
Bernard C. Seidling, 60, Eau Claire, Wis., is charged with 50 counts of mail fraud. The indictment alleges that from 2003 through 2009, Seidling engaged in a fraud scheme in which he used the Wisconsin court system to obtain small claims judgments against individuals and corporations based on false representations in lawsuits he filed. The indictment alleges that in the execution of this scheme, he caused mail matter to be delivered by the U.S. Postal Service which contained fraudulent small claims case documents.
The indictment alleges that Seidling filed suits in Wisconsin small claims courts against individuals and corporations which contained false representations and usually claimed the maximum allowed amount of $5,000. It further alleges that he attempted to hide the filings of these lawsuits from the defendants (the victims of his scheme) named in them, and to obtain default judgments by falsifying the victims’ addresses and falsifying in court documents facts regarding attempts to serve the victims.
The indictment further alleges that the fraudulently obtained default judgments were filed by Seidling in the county where the victims actually lived or owned property, and he used them to attempt to file wage garnishments against the victims and judgment executions against victims’ property.
If convicted, Seidling faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each count charged. The charges against him are the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Sheriff’s Departments of Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Chippewa, Dane, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Iron, Jackson, Pierce, Polk, Sawyer and Washburn Counties; and Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation. The prosecution of this case will be handled by United States Attorney John W. Vaudreuil.
Man Charged with Illegal Re-Entry into U.S.
Lazaro Martinez-Medina, a citizen of Mexico found in Madison, Wis., is charged with illegally re-entering the United States after previously being deported. The indictment alleges that he was found in the United States on October 31, 2011.
If convicted, Martinez-Medina faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. The charge against him is the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The prosecution of this case has been assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman.