If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
By LeAnn R. Ralph
EAU CLAIRE — A 51-year old Elk Mound man is accused in Eau Claire County of three felony counts related to human trafficking, abuse of an at-risk individual and identity theft for financial gain.
Daniel J. King is scheduled for an initial appearance in Eau Claire County Circuit Court on March 30 on three felony counts of human trafficking, intentionally subjecting an individual at-risk to abuse likely to cause great bodily harm, identity theft for financial gain and misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct and sending a computer message threatening injury or harm.
The charge of human trafficking, in this case, refers to trafficking for the purposes of labor or services involving the victim, and the trafficking is done by fraud or deception.
Since King has not yet made an initial appearance in court, bail has not been set.
According to the criminal complaint, a detective with the Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Department interviewed an individual in September of 2020 with medical and mental health issues who was assigned to King’s company, Rising Sun, for caretaker services.
The individual, identified by the initials JC in the complaint, told the detective that due to his medical and mental health needs, he requires daily reminders to take his medications, check his blood sugars, bathe, clean the house and do other everyday living tasks.
According to his medical records and a living plan with a managed care company called Inclusa, staff from Rising Sun were supposed to come to JC’s home every day to ensure he is bathing and taking his medications. The man told the detective that staff from Rising Sun would show up only once every three or four days. Rising Sun and King also are supposed to distribute money to the man on a weekly basis, the complaint states.
JC told the investigator that whenever he and King had review meetings with Inclusa and his case managers, King would convince JC to lie about staff from Rising Sun and King and to say they were providing the services even though they were not.
When the man was asked about King or Rising Sun distributing money to him, JC said he is allotted $400 per month through social security disability. The money is placed on a debit card, and King has possession of the debit card, although King would sometimes give cash to the man, too, according to the complaint.
The man also told the detective that his court-appointed guardian had asked him about purchases involving the debit card at Menard’s and at an auto parts store. King was present when JC was talking on the telephone with his guardian, and King told him to say King had purchased the tools and other items for JC, the complaint states.
The detective interviewed the court-appointed guardian as well, who said King was hired by Inclusa to provide care for JC 12 to 13 hours per week. A representative for Inclusa had told the guardian there were concerns King was not providing the level of services ordered in the care plan.
Inclusa told the guardian that Inclusa had been reviewing JC’s medical laboratory work and saw that JC’s diabetic blood sugars were not controlled and were extremely high, according to the complaint.
The representative for Inclusa, referred to as “Inclusa” in the complaint, told JC’s guardian that she had talked to JC about his blood sugars, and JC said he had lost his glucometer and had not been checking his blood sugar. The guardian said JC had never reported this to his guardian or to Inclusa, the complaint states.
The guardian and Inclusa agreed the concerns should be addressed at a review meeting, which was held in September of 2020, and conducted by Zoom. The guardian, JC, Inclusa, King, and a representative from the L.L. Phillips Career Development Center were present for the meeting. JC and King were in the same room.
During the meeting, the guardian said Inclusa had asked JC if Rising Sun staff or King stopped by his residence every day as the care plan states. JC said staff and King were not there every day, but King corrected JC and said staff members were at JC’s residence every day, according to the complaint.
The detective asked the guardian if she had other concerns, and the guardian said she is aware that King owns a lawn mowing business and that he uses JC and other clients to mow lawns but does not believe King pays them for their work. The guardian talked to King, and King said that in exchange for their work, King will buy them something or take them on a trip such as to Jelly Stone. The guardian expressed concern that King oversteps his boundaries with clients by being too personable and also tells the clients to refer to him as “Dad,” the complaint states.
The detective interviewed the community resource coordinator with Inclusa too, who continues to be referred to as “Inclusa” in the complaint.
Inclusa said she was concerned about JC when she reviewed his medical chart, saw that his glucometer had been missing for several weeks and that he had not been taking his medication consistently for a month. Part of Inclusa’s agreement with King and Rising Sun is to provide daily oversight and reminders for medication and for bathing, according to the complaint.
Inclusa said she and JC’s guardian had a six-month review meeting with JC by Zoom. King was present for the meeting in the same room as JC, along with a woman from the career development center. The woman told Inclusa that the day of the meeting was the first time JC came bathed, cleanly dressed and without a large bottle of soda pop in several months, the complaint states.
Inclusa told the detective that JC and another client were prescribed numerous medications. When the concerns for their well being arose, Inclusa went to the house the week of September 21, 2020, and observed that another client’s medication dispenser had been filled the day before and was still full. Inclusa said several of another client’s medications are necessary, and he must take them daily for mood disorders and other medical conditions, according to the complaint.
Inclusa told the detective, too, that when she scheduled a meeting with JC or a home visit, King would contact her immediately to ask when they were meeting and what the meeting was about. King would then always come to the meting with JC or be at the house during home visits. Since JC lived in an independent living facility, this was unusual, Inclusa said. “Furthermore, Inclusa stated that other clients she works with who also live in independent facilities never have caretakers present for meetings or home visits,” the complaint states.
Inclusa said she was concerned, too, about the Jelly Stone trip. Another client told Inclusa that the client and JC would be gone for a week and were going to Jelly Stone with King’s ex-wife and would be working for her while on the trip. Inclusa asked King about it immediately, and he told her the trip had been approved by the client and JC’s guardians, according to the complaint.
King said the trip was a reward for the client and JC mowing lawns and doing other work for him. Inclusa later found out the guardians had never approved the trip, and the client and JC both had to pay to go on the trip. When asked if it was normal practice for caregivers to take clients on trips, Inclusa stated, “no absolutely not.”
When asked if she had concerns about JC’s honesty, Inclusa said no, she has never had any issues with JC, but King has always told her JC is a “liar” and a “manipulator,” according to the complaint.
In addition, the detective spoke with a woman who was JC’s fiancee. The woman said she had known him for eight years, and they had been in a relationship for two and a half years.
The woman said she had received a text message from JC in May of 2020 saying he was ending their relationship. The woman said she could tell by the way the message was worded that JC had not written it. When she talked to JC on the telephone, JC said King had sent the message and threatened to put JC in a mental facility if he did not agree to it, according to the complaint.
The woman said she talked to King about the message, and King said adult protective services, along with Inclusa and the guardian, agreed that JC should not be dating her. King told her she was manipulative and evil, and she was emotionally and physically abusive to JC. King told the woman and her mother that if the woman did not leave JC alone and stop communicating with him, “it wouldn’t end well for me and my mother,” according to the complaint.
Human trafficking is a Class D felony that carries a possible penalty, upon conviction, of a fine of up to $100,000 and/or up to 25 years in prison.
Intentionally subjecting an individual at risk to abuse likely to cause great bodily harm is a Class G felony that carries a possible penalty, upon conviction, of a fine of up to $25,000 and/or up to 10 years in prison.
Identity theft for financial gain is a Class H felony that carries a possible penalty, upon conviction, of a fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to six years in prison.
Disorderly conduct is a Class B misdemeanor that carries a possible penalty, upon conviction, of a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to 90 days in jail. In addition, because the defendant disguised the identity or location of the computer at which he was working while committing the offense with the intent he would be less likely to be identified with the crime, the penalty could be increased by a fine of up to $2,500 and the maximum imprisonment could be increased by up to two years.
A computer message threatening injury or harm also is a Class B misdemeanor that carries a possible penalty, upon conviction, of a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to 90 days in jail.