Van Den Heuvel's delay motion denied; sentencing set for Jan. 5

Ron Van Den Heuvel (WLUK file image)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) – A federal judge has denied a De Pere businessman’s request to delay his sentencing his next week.

Ron Van Den Heuvel is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 5 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud in connection with a loan for his business, Green Box.

Two weeks ago, Van Den Heuvel personally wrote Judge William Griesbach, claiming there was new evidence proving a “witch hunt” by prosecutors. It was rejected, as the court noted “motions should be filed through counsel.”

Accordingly, defense attorney Robert LeBell filed a motion Wednesday, arguing “There are matters which are currently being reviewed by the defendant which may have impact on the disposition of this matter. As such, the defendant respectfully requests that the court afford that time to effectuate the review. It is therefore requested that the matter be adjourned for a relatively short period of time after January 5, 2018.”

LeBell’s motion did delineate or repeat the specific claims Van Den Heuvel made in his letter, however.

Prosecutors opposed the request for a delay.

Judge William Griesbach’s decision Thursday says Van Den Heuvel hasn’t shown grounds for a delay.

“Both the reason for and the length of the adjournment requested are too indefinite for the motion to be granted. If the defendant is in need of additional time to prepare for sentencing, he should explain to the court how much time he needs and why. A vague reference to “matters that may have an impact on the disposition of this matter” are simply insufficient for the court to determine whether or not an adjournment is warranted,” the judge wrote.

Judge Griesbach did leave the door open, however, for Van Den Heuvel to file a more detailed motion indicating why he needs more time.

Van Den Heuvel pleaded guilty to bank fraud Oct. 10, for illegally arranging a loan from Horicon Bank. At that hearing, however, he 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.

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