BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Local businessman and first-ward city councilman Chris Greenwald has reached a plea deal in a case brought against him by the state.
Greenwald was originally charged on Jan. 18 and 20 by the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division with three counts, the first being the 3rd-degree fraud, which is an aggravated misdemeanor. That charge has been consolidated by the court with one count of failure to maintain motor vehicle records and one count of failure to obtain a manufacturer’s or importer’s certificate.
According to the records on the Iowa Courts Online website, an order was filed by Judge Tyron Rogers indicating a plea agreement had been reached in the case and the prosecution was to file a written confirmation of the plea.
The case had been set for trial to begin on Wednesday.
Henry County Attorney Darin Stater is prosecuting the case after acting Lee County Attorney Clinton Boddicker, and then newly-appointed Lee County Attorney Ross Braden, both filed motions to withdraw due to conflicts of interest.
Stater didn’t reveal details of the plea agreement Wednesday morning but said he would be filing the written agreement with the court by the end of the week.
“He pleaded guilt to some of the charges and we waived others and I’m willing to call that good,” Stater said Wednesday.
Another pre-trial conference was set for June 13, but it is unknown whether that hearing will take place as a result of the plea agreement.
Greenwald is being represented by Elaine Fehseke Gray. Calls to Gray went unreturned Wednesday afternoon.
According to the complaint, on June 21, 2016, Greenwald, “did commit a fraudulent practice in the third degree by knowingly conceal a material fact concerning the ownership and transferability of a vehicle while obtaining a Iowa certificate of title representing a 2004 Chevrolet truck. The defendant having a financial exposure of $7,000 but the truck having a security lien of $11,500. Actual value of the truck to the dealership being $7,000.”
The affidavit on file at the North Lee County Courthouse also alleges Greenwald was aware of an attempt to obtain an Iowa title via an employee making application for the title. An application for the title of the Chevy Silverado was filed at the Lee County Treasurer’s office. The document also alleges that, “Greenwald had knowingly and willingly accepted the truck as a trade in vehicle and was aware that the Chevrolet truck title had been “skipped” and the person trading the truck was not the title owner and the truck title was not negotiable for transfer.”