Prosecutors oppose Van Den Heuvel's request to withdraw guilty plea

Ron Van Den Heuvel (WLUK file image)

Update: Prosecutors filed a brief late Wednesday, opposing the latest defense motion to postpone Friday's sentencing.


GREEN BAY (WLUK) – Prosecutors are opposing a De Pere businessman’s effort to withdraw his guilty plea, just days before he is scheduled to be sentenced.

Meanwhile, Ron Van Den Heuvel has asked yet again for a delay of Friday's sentencing hearing, after pleading guilty in October to a count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

After two motions to delay the sentencing were denied, Van Den Heuvel filed a motion Tuesday, asking to withdraw his plea.

But in a 14-page response filed Wednesday, federal prosecutors call the motion "delay tactics and gamesmanship” and say it should be denied.

Prosecutors point out Judge William Griesbach had a lengthy conversation with Van Den Heuvel about the his plea, it being voluntary, and the evidence being used as the basis for the conviction. Van Den Heuvel agreed on all points, prosecutors note.

Also Wednesday, after prosecutors filed their brief, Van Den Heuvel's attorney filed a third motion to adjourn sentencing, saying he needs four months to review newly-acquired documents which he maintains could show his innocence.

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. 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.

As of Wednesday afternoon, no hearing has been scheduled on Van Den Heuvel’s motion; the sentencing hearing remains on the calendar for Friday.

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