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Judge rules businessman's sentencing will proceed, but attorney wants off the case

Ron Van Den Heuvel (WLUK file image)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) – A De Pere businessman will be sentenced as scheduled Friday in a bank fraud case, a judge ruled Thursday - but the defense attorney subsequently asked to withdraw from the case.

Ron Van Den Heuvel has filed three motions to delay the sentencing and one motion to withdraw his guilty plea on a count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Federal Judge William Griesbach previously denied two motions to postpone the hearing, and today denied the two most recent motions, according to court records.

After Judge Griesbach entered the order, defense attorney Robert LeBell filed a motion asking to withdraw from the case.

"AS GROUNDS THEREFORE it is maintained that a breakdown in communications has occurred to the extent that further competent representation cannot be provided," LeBell wrote.

There was no immediate response from federal prosecutors or the court on the motion.

At the October plea hearing, Van Den Heuvel repeatedly said there was no intent to commit any crime. Van Den Heuvel was also admonished by Judge Griesbach at one point, who told Van Den Heuvel that if the guilty plea was accepted, he couldn’t later argue he was innocent. Van Den Heuvel faces up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine at the hearing Friday. Van Den Heuvel also agreed to pay restitution of $316,445.79.

He also faces prosecution in a second case, which is still pending. A scheduling conference will be held March 16. In that case, prosecutors allege Van Den Heuvel raised more than $9 million from investors, including the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., for his company, Green Box, but used some of the money on personal items, including a car and Packers tickets. If convicted of all 14 counts, he faces up 240 years in prison and more than $2.5 million in fines.

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