A 56-year-old Minocqua man who was charged with two felonies in November 2016 after it was alleged he forged several personal checks belonging to his business partner totaling over $10,000 saw the charges dropped in February.
According to the criminal complaint, the alleged victim came to the Minocqua Police Department in October to report that Dennis C. Schulze took a checkbook from her purse while she was in the hospital and wrote numerous checks from it without her permission. The two had been partners in operating a Minocqua area restaurant together, and all the bills were paid from her checkbook, but she no longer wanted to continue the partnership, she told the police.
On Oct. 12, the investigating officer arrived at work to find a written statement from the alleged victim and copies of four checks Schulze allegedly wrote from the checkbook, totaling just over $1,900, including one check for the rent on the business location. Later that day, the alleged victim returned to the police department with a copy of a check for $5,000 Schulze had allegedly written to a food supplier.
On Oct. 13, a member of the department made contact with Schulze at the restaurant. He allegedly told the officer he wrote two checks to his cook, the rent check and the $5,000 check to a vendor, signing the alleged victim's name because "she gave him permission," the police report states.
He was arrested and transported to the Oneida County Jail where he gave a written statement. In it, he said the two had opened the business with a $6,000 loan and a $2,000 line of credit on a credit card. He reiterated in the statement that the alleged victim gave him permission to sign her name to the checks he had written.
Also on Oct. 13, the alleged victim returned to the police department with copies of seven more checks Schulze allegedly wrote while she was hospitalized, all to suppliers. The total of the checks Schulze allegedly forged was $10,590.89. Most were returned due to insufficient funds.
On Oct. 14, Schulze made his initial appearance before Branch II judge Michael Bloom on charges of uttering a forgery, a class H felony, and theft of movable property over $10,000. A $1,000 cash bond was set.
According to online court records, the alleged victim filed a written witness statement Feb. 6 recanting the allegations. Assistant district attorney Mary Sowinski made a motion to dismiss the charges without prejudice, which Bloom granted.
Since the charges were dismissed without prejudice, the state could refile the case at a later date. Without the cooperation of the alleged victim, however, proving thw case to a jury would be difficult.
The Northwoods River News | Walker Communications, LLC 232 S. Courtney Street, Rhinelander, WI 54501 | Office (715) 365-6397 | Fax (715) 365-6361
Corporate billing office: The Lakeland Times / Lakeland Printing Inc. | P.O. Box 790, Minocqua, WI 54548 | (715) 356-5236 | Fax (715) 358-2121 Members of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, Wisconsin Community Papers, Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce, Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce