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Local developer pays fee, gets German charges waived
Date: 1995-10-20 | By: STEVE GUNN Chronicle staff writer | Pg: 1 | Se...
Rooks says he chose not to return to Germany for trial because of the cost of the trip, potential legal
expenses and his n...
one operator of the business concept and computer program, wrote Bonse.

The contracts also included written warnings abou...
After several months of correspondence with Interpol, McClean learned that German authorities had
decided against seeking ...
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Jonathan Rooks was arrested in Germany in 1991 and charged with criminal fraud

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Rooks, owner of Parkland Development of West Michigan Inc. and the developer of the huge Ellenwood Landing marina/condominium project, was arrested in June, 1991 in Frankfurt, Germany. He was charged with criminal fraud charges in a case dating back to 1988, according to documents provided by the Montague Police Department, many wired to America by Interpol, the international police agency.

Published in: Real Estate
  • This is what the Court said about attorney Dave Charron of Charron Law Office who represents Jon Rooks and Parkland entities and what Charron did to his former client Glenn Morris: "Charron's actions were “willful” and “malicious” under § 523(a)(6). The Injunctive Order prohibited conduct that would, by definition, cause injury to Morris. By knowingly violating the Injunctive Order, Charron acted “willfully” because he either intended to cause injury to Morris, or could be substantially certain that injury would result. Charron also acted “maliciously” because his violation of the Injunctive Order was in conscious disregard of his duties to comply with the order. The damages awarded to Morris were a result of Charron's willful, malicious, and contemptuous actions. For these reasons, Morris is entitled to judgment as a matter of law under § 523(a)(6) and his cross motion for summary judgment shall be granted. Charron's motion for summary judgment shall be denied. A separate order shall be entered accordingly. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated September 30, 2015"
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  • The attorney for Jonathan Rooks and Parkland Properties is David W. Charron in Grand Rapids. Charron's now defunct law firm Charron and Hanisch PLC was found guilty of FRAUDULENT transfer and hit with with a money judgment exceeding $1 million and went out of business. David Charron was personally found guilty of civil CONTEMPT and acted "WILLFULLY" and "MALICIOUSLY" causing substantial injury to his former client Glenn Morris and he was found personally liable for $364,000 in CONTEMPT SANCTIONS. David Charron was fined $1000 for use of obscene language towards Judge Yates. David Charron is currently under investigation by the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission. David Charron is a bankrupt individual. http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2014/06/attorney_socked_with_sanction.html http://blogs.wsj.com/bankruptcy/2015/10/02/judge-lawyer-cant-dodge-364000-contempt-fine-using-bankruptcy/ http://courts.mi.gov/Courts/MichiganSupremeCourt/Clerks/Documents/briefs-archive/2015-2016/149631-3/149631%20COA-opn.pdf
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Jonathan Rooks was arrested in Germany in 1991 and charged with criminal fraud

  1. 1. Local developer pays fee, gets German charges waived Date: 1995-10-20 | By: STEVE GUNN Chronicle staff writer | Pg: 1 | Sec: A | MUSKEGON CHRONICLE Jonathan Rooks was arrested in Germany in 1991 and charged with Criminal Fraud. Federal Republic of Germany law enforcement officials waived long-standing criminal charges against Montague businessman Jonathan L. Rooks Tuesday after the developer paid an unspecified amount of money to settle the matter out of court. Rooks, owner of Parkland Development of West Michigan Inc. and the developer of the huge Ellenwood Landing marina/condominium project, was arrested in June, 1991 in Frankfurt, Germany. He was charged with criminal fraud charges in a case dating back to 1988, according to documents provided by the Montague Police Department, many wired to America by Interpol, the international police agency. Rooks, once named U.S. Young Entrepreneur of the Year, posted approximately $90,000 in bail shortly after his arrest and returned to the United States. He failed to appear for trial in Germany later that year and forfeited his bail money. Rooks recently paid an unspecified amount of money to have the charges dropped, said Judge Joachim Schaeffer of the Muenster, Germany, district court. According to Shaeffer, German law allows defendants “in some special cases” to pay a settlement rather than face trial. The cash settlement with the court did not constitute an admission of guilt by Rooks. After hearing repeated rumors about Rooks’ activities problems in Germany, Montague Police Chief Robert McClean investigated the case earlier this year. After months of correspondence with international police sources, McClean learned that German authorities had decided against seeking Rook’s extradition. McClean closed his investigation, but charges against Rooks remained active until the cash settlement was paid. Had he traveled to Germany, he would have been arrested. Authorities in Bocholt, Germany, allege Rooks sold a business concept and computer program to eight different buyers in 1988, leading each to believe they were the sole purchaser. They also claim Rooks failed to inform purchasers that the telemarketing techniques involved in his business concept had been outlawed by court orders, and gave purchasers a false account of his company’s success rate. Rooks says he’s innocent of all wrongdoing. He said claims he was a naive 23-year-old who misunderstood the challenges of being a foreign entrepreneur in an often-hostile German business environment. Rooks says he sold his business holdings in good faith, and that buyers only filed charges after failing to make an immediate profit from the business concept. He pointed out that German law is different than American law, and said the case would have been a lawsuit, not a criminal charge, in U.S. courts.
  2. 2. Rooks says he chose not to return to Germany for trial because of the cost of the trip, potential legal expenses and his need to remain in Montague to oversee his business. In a notarized document, Rooks’ German attorney wrote that his client would likely have been acquitted of all charges if he had returned for trial. He also said claims that a conviction would likely not have led to incarceration. According to documents provided by Montague police, Rooks moved to Germany in 1986 and founded Auto-Data-Computer-Autovermittlungs, a company that would “unite persons who intend to sell their car to potential buyers.” The company’s business was conducted through a computer program and telemarketing techniques. Rooks sold his marketing concept and computer program to eight different buyers in 1987, and his company filed for bankruptcy in German courts in 1988. He returned to the United States in 1988 and founded Parkland Development, shortly after his German company folded. An arrest warrant was signed July 29, 1988, in the Magistrate’s Court in Bocholt, Germany, charging Rooks with fraud. Rooks was arrested at the Frankfort Airport in 1991 while passing through Germany. He posted the equivalent of approximately $90,000 in American currency for bond on July 11, 1991. He returned to the United States after his release, and chose not to return to Germany for trial. The court responded by forfeiting his bail money and reissuing reinforcing the arrest warrant. On July 12, 1991, the district attorney of Bocholt, Germany, submitted an indictment to the District Court of Muenster, Germany, charging Rooks with fraud “in eight different cases,” regarding the sale of his market concept and computer program. In the indictment, authorities claim Rooks “gave false account of turnovers, the number of customers and the success ratio (of his business), to convince the concerned parties to purchase. “He failed to disclose to all his buyers that his market concept was practically useless in Germany since its use was prohibited due to several court orders. “Furthermore, the accused falsely guaranteed every single buyer to be the only reciever of the computer program, (and) the multiple selling made his product almost economically worthless.” Rooks and his German attorney dispute each accusation. In his written response, attorney Rainer-H. Bonse of Muenster said claims the sales contracts between Rooks and his the eight purchasers contains nothing “regarding the business success or number of customers” of Rooks’ business. He also said the contracts never suggest that each purchaser was the sole recipient of Rooks’ business holdings. In fact, Rooks used the term “franchising” in the contracts, suggesting there would be more than
  3. 3. one operator of the business concept and computer program, wrote Bonse. The contracts also included written warnings about court orders that prohibited Rooks’ type of business from telemarketing, wrote Bonse. The court orders were obtained by a German newspaper cartel which competed with Rooks’ business for automobile advertising dollars. The warnings disprove the accusation that Rooks failed to disclose to buyers that his business has been prohibited from telemarketing, wrote Bonse. Rooks says one buyer became angry when he didn’t experience immediate success with the business concept, then convinced other buyers to demand refunds and subsequently file criminal complaints against him. “As with most ventures, the buyers of the copies of my software experienced varying degrees of success,” wrote Rooks in a signed affadavit. “One in particular ignored my advice about not tangling with the newspaper. When he challenged them, he ran into the same difficulties I had experienced. “He became disgruntled, demanded his money back and wanted to return the software. He then began contacting other software buyers and organizing them into asking for refunds and credits.” Rooks said he returned to Germany five times after he moved back to the United States, and was never aware of the criminal charges. He said he was arrested on his sixth trip to Germany, but chose to skip his trial and forfeit his bail money after considering his options. “Although I had solid evidence to to prove my innocence, I decided not to return, to forfeit the bond as a business expense,” said Rooks. “I conducted a cost/benefit analysis, looking at what I stood to benefit by going back and getting my $90,000 bond. “After deducting substantial legal fees, travel and lodging expenses, and the cost of my not working at my company here, the most I stood to recover was about $10,000 to $20,000. This made no sense.” After returning from Germany in 1988, Rooks founded Parkland Development of West Michigan, Inc. The business managed Ellenwood Landing Marina and Ellenwood Estates in Montague. The marina and condominium development are located on the shores of White Lake near the mouth of the White River in Montague. Rooks was named Young Entepreneur of the Year by the United States Small Business Administration in 1993. McClean began investigating Rooks’ status in Germany earlier this year, after hearing repeated rumors that Rooks was a fugitive. McClean corresponded with the International Criminal Police Organization in Washington, D.C., which related Rooks’ whereabouts to its sister office in Wiesbaden, Germany.
  4. 4. After several months of correspondence with Interpol, McClean learned that German authorities had decided against seeking Rooks’ extradition. “I heard bits and pieces about this from a lot of different people, and as police chief I felt it was my obligation to determine whether there was any truth to the rumors, and whether any police action was necessary. “I conversed with a gentleman (who works for Interpol) in Washington, and and the end result was that I learned the Germans didn’t want to extradite. At that point the curtain closes and I’m out of it.”

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