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St. Croix Co. business ordered to pay $100,000 to former customers

A judge has ordered a Glenwood City fuel delivery company to pay almost $100,000 to six former customers.

In February, Judge Eric Lundell ordered John Rassbach, d/b/a Rassbach Oil, Glenwood City, to pay compensatory damages to Timothy and Matthew Bazille, d/b/a TM Custom Bailing, Woodville; Bradley Dorwin, Glenwood City, Double A Dairy and Black Hawk Nutrients, Woodville, Timothy and Dennis Omann, Emerald; Lee Seim; and Nadeau Holsteins, Glenwood City.

Rassbach still faces 14 criminal counts of theft by misrepresentation, and a pretrial hearing on those charges will be held March 17. The charges, which were filed Nov. 2, 2009, don't involve the plaintiffs in the civil case.

The plaintiffs all ordered diesel fuel from Rassbach. When they suspected he was shorting them, they investigated further and the Omanns reported the alleged discrepancy to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trace and Consumer Protection and to the St. Croix County Sheriff's Department.

Four criminal charges of theft of movable property were filed Dec. 17, 2008 but dismissed a couple of weeks later.

The plaintiffs filed this civil lawsuit, but when their attorney questioned Rassbach he refused to answer questions, saying repeatedly that he had given the information to "an officer."

Judge Lundell found that Rassbach's refusal to answer the attorney's questions, "appears to be intentional and in bad faith."

Lundell ordered Rassbach to pay $7,077 to the Bazilles; $2,450 to Dorwin; $45,000 to Double A Dairy and Black Hawk Nutrients; $6,557 to the Omanns; $28,250 to Lee Seim; and $9,625 to Nadeau Holsteins.

Last October, Rassbach was also ordered to pay $46,175 to William Beskar, d/b/a Beskar Farms, Menomonie.