Two Pewaukee Men Charged with Bank Fraud and Concealing Assets
United States Attorney James L. Santelle of the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced that on Tuesday, October 7, 2014, the grand jury returned a sixteen count indictment charging Todd A. Brunner (age 57), and Shawn A. Brunner, (age: 24), both of Pewaukee, Wisconsin with bank fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1344; and false declarations and oaths, and concealing assets in bankruptcy, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 152.
T. Brunner is charged in counts one through eight of the indictment, which allege that he submitted false documents in support of draw requests from a construction loan funded by First Business Bank of Milwaukee. Counts nine through eleven allege T. Brunner transferred the ownership of assets, including real estate, motor vehicles, and boats to his son, S. Brunner, and to shell companies in order to shield them from his creditors. Count twelve alleges that T. Brunner concealed boat engines, superchargers and gauges from the bankruptcy court and his creditors during bankruptcy proceedings. Counts thirteen and fourteen allege that T. Brunner made materially false declarations and verifications under penalty of perjury in his bankruptcy proceedings. Count fifteen alleges that T. Brunner made a false oath and account at a creditor meeting in bankruptcy. S. Brunner is charged with bank fraud along with his father in counts nine through eleven, and separately, in count sixteen, with a false account and oath at a bankruptcy proceeding.
In announcing the indictment, United States Attorney Santelle commented: “The nature and scope of the charges issued by the grand jury reflect the substance and the breadth of the criminal conduct in which the defendant allegedly engaged—including bank fraud, the concealment of assets, and the making of false statements in the context of bankruptcy proceedings. These behaviors not only compromise the strength of our financial institutions and banking systems but also undermine the legitimate and important processes of the United States Bankruptcy Court.” Santelle specially commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Milwaukee Police Department for “their partnered, focused, and effective investigation of this multi-faceted fraud.”
If convicted of the bank fraud counts, each defendant faces up to 30 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine, and up to five years’ supervised release for each count. If convicted of the false declarations and oaths and concealment in bankruptcy, each defendant faces up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release on each count.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development-Office of Inspector General, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, and the Milwaukee Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Carol L. Kraft.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.