Case of fuel fraud is postponedAn investigation into an alleged fuel delivery fraud case in St. Croix County that was expected to reach a conclusion with a court decision last week will have to wait.
By: Jon Echternacht, Hudson Star-Observer
An investigation into an alleged fuel delivery fraud case in St. Croix County that was expected to reach a conclusion with a court decision last week will have to wait.
Sheriff Dennis Hillstead said his department had wrapped up an investigation into shortages of diesel fuel delivered to several farmers in the eastern part of the county by John Rassbach, 52, of Rassbach Oil Co., Glenwood City.
“My understanding was that he (Rassbach) was to make an appearance in court last Wednesday (Nov. 24) and plea to the charges, but Judge Howard Cameron recused himself before anything started and we’ll have to wait until a new judge is appointed,” Hillstead said Tuesday morning.
Judy Cardin, chief of weights and measures for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, who was involved in the investigation with the sheriff’s department, said Tuesday the case would be brought back on Dec. 15 before a new judge.
“It’s my understanding that everything will be done at that time,” she said, indicating a plea and sentencing would occur then.
District Attorney Eric Johnson’s office will prosecute the case. Earlier Johnson reportedly said one felony and three misdemeanor counts would be filed against Rassbach.
Hillstead said the investigation worked with four farmers who bought fuel from Rassbach.
“We emptied the tanks. The department of weights and measures checked the tanks for capacity. Then they ordered a load from Rassbach.”
The sheriff said the farmers were charged for as much as 100 more gallons more than was pumped into their tanks. Rassbach allegedly ran off a number of gallons on his delivery truck meter before pumping the rest of the fuel into the farm tank and billed the customers for the full amount.