Filings continue in a lawsuit alleging theft and fraud from Winona Restoration & Preservation Inc. and its founder, Dr. Dane Miller, by former business partner Brent Wilcoxson.
On Aug. 20, the defense filed a motion to dismiss several counts of the lawsuit claiming the statute of limitations have passed. One week later, however, on Aug. 27, the legal team for Dr. Dane Miller and Winona Restoration & Preservation Inc., filed opposition to the defense’s motion.
In the filing, plaintiff’s counsel argues the charges cannot be dismissed legally if the complaining party is entitled to relief. The defense’s further claim that the lawsuit “failed to allege any misrepresentation by Wilcoxson” is also disputed by plaintiffs noting fraud “may consist of conduct as well as words.” Wilcoxson is accused in one count of keeping $900 for himself and falsely representing a deposit made to the WRP books.
Further, the plaintiffs argue Wilcoxson also attempted to hide a $12,000 loan from WRP given to his son, Aaron, which was never repaid, and that his paid his son’s college tuition from WRP funds and hid that.
Wilcoxson is also accused of transferring a promissory note from Grace College to his own nonprofit organization, Winona Arts Restoration & Preservation Inc., and $29,000 from the sale of Winona Mercantile.
Grace College has entered into the suit fearing it may have a “double liability” from purchasing Mount Memorial Hall property from WRP, although the funds were deposited into the W.A.R.P. account. Grace has made monthly payments of $18,200 on the property since Jan. 1, 2005, and is scheduled to continue those payments until Dec. 31, 2015.
According to the motion to intervene filed by the college, a letter written by Wilcoxson and dated Oct. 5, 2006, claimed WRP “gifted” the note and mortgage on the property to W.A.R.P., a claim Dr. Miller denies in the lawsuit.
The plaintiff’s latest motion asks the court to deny the defense’s motion to dismiss saying, “Wilcoxson acted with malice, fraud, gross negligence or oppressiveness that was not the result of mistake of fact or law, honest error or judgement, overzealousness, mere negligence or other human failing.”
Elkhart County Circuit Court Judge Terry Shewmaker, who has been named the special judge for the case, has set a hearing in his court for 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 28. The judge will hear all pending motions, together with Grace Schools’ motion to intervene as a separate party in the lawsuit.