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LaPean asks Supreme Court for review

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE —  Greg LaPean, former owner of LaPean Implement in Menomonie, has asked the state Supreme Court to review his case.

The District III Court of Appeals recently upheld LaPean’s conviction by a Dunn County jury for defrauding a New Auburn bank out of several hundred thousand dollars in a case involving 18 pieces of missing farm equipment that served as collateral for a loan.

 Steven Miller, one of the attorneys representing LaPean, informed the Honorable Judge William Stewart in Dunn County Circuit Court at a hearing November 6 that LaPean had petitioned the state Supreme Court for review and that Miller thought it was improper for Judge Stewart to lift the stay on LaPean’s jail time while the case was still under further appeal.

Miller said he did not know whether the Supreme Court would agree to take the case but that the stay should not be lifted until notification had been received about the Supreme Court case.

The appellate court’s decision to deny the appeal was dated September 26, and at a court hearing in Dunn County October 28, Andrew Maki, Dunn County Assistant District Attorney, filed a motion to have the stay on jail time lifted.

LaPean was sentenced in February of 2012 to six months in jail, five years of probation, and 50 hours of community service for each year of probation.

In April of 2012, Judge Stewart ordered the jail sentence stayed pending the appeal.

LaPean initially was ordered by the court to pay $288,763.90 in restitution, with monthly payments beginning in April of 2012.

A jury convicted LaPean on September 23, 2011, of one felony count of transferring another’s personal property worth more than $100,000.

In a separate case, in which LaPean was charged with two felony counts of transferring another’s personal property at a value exceeding $10,000 but not more than $100,000, a Dunn County jury could not reach a verdict.

According to online court records, a third case with two counts of transferring another’s personal property at a value not exceeding $100,000 is still open.

The appellate court does not advise the trial court of further appeals and only sends the appellate court’s decision to the trial court, Judge Stewart noted.

Judge Stewart also pointed out that he was not clear on which attorney, Miller, or Lester Pines, was representing LaPean on which aspect of the case.

A restitution hearing is scheduled for November 21, and Pines did not object to the restitution hearing, Judge Stewart said.

The question of restitution must be decided, he said.

“I am concerned because I am working for three more weeks, and then I am retiring,” Judge Stewart said.

The LaPean case is so complicated, Judge Stewart said, that he would prefer not to put another judge in the position of having to review the entire file.

If another judge is required to go through all of the testimony and all of the evidence, it will be “daunting,” he said.

Miller apologized to the court for not having better communication with Pines and said that Pines is only handling the restitution portion of the case.

Pines is prepared to go forward with the restitution hearing on November 21, Miller said.

Maki told the court that the district attorney’s office had been notified of the petition to the Supreme Court on October 30 and asked Judge Stewart to hold off on the motion to lift the stay on LaPean’s jail time.

Judge Stewart said the November 21 court date for restitution had been cleared with Pines and that both LaPean and Pines will be required to be at the restitution hearing.

The LaPean restitution hearing on November 21 is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

Miller addressed the court by telephone at the November 6 hearing.

LaPean also addressed the court by telephone and was not present in the courtroom.