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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Wisconsin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Former Suamico and Kaukauna Used Car Dealer John Solberg Indicted on Fifteen Counts of Fraud

United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger of the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on November 26, 2019, a federal grand jury returned an indictment against John M. Solberg (age: 37), of Green Bay, Wisconsin on a charge of conspiracy to commit mail, wire, and bank fraud, contrary to Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349; one count of mail fraud, contrary to Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341; and thirteen counts of wire fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343.

The indictment alleges that Solberg conspired to “defraud automobile sellers, automobile buyers, financial institutions, and others through the use of the United States mail, by means of interstate wire communications, and by concealing material facts from federally insured financial institutions.”  It further alleges that Solberg and others working at his direction “sought out individuals advertising their automobiles for sale on Craigslist … and convinced them to turn over their automobiles to be sold on consignment.”  Solberg is alleged to have then sold the vehicles without approval and without notifying the owners of the sale.  Solberg then allegedly created counterfeit vehicle titles, allowing the purchaser of the vehicle to believe they “owned the vehicle free and clear of any liens.”

Solberg is alleged to have operated, directed, and supervised dealerships under the names “Backwoods Bargains,” “Standard Pre-Owned,” “Suamico Investment Group,” and “Bella Investments, LLC” at locations in Suamico and Kaukauna, Wisconsin. 

“Fraud schemes not only harm their victims but also erode trust within communities, making people less willing to engage in commerce with each other,” said United States Attorney Krueger.  “These charges demonstrate a strong commitment by law enforcement at all levels to investigate and prosecute fraud aggressively.”   

The conspiracy count carries a maximum of 30 years’ imprisonment and up to a $1,000,000 fine.  The remaining counts each carry a maximum of 20 year’s imprisonment and up to a $250,000 fine. 

This case was investigated by the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Division of Motor Vehicles, the Kaukauna Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel R. Humble.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.    

For Additional Information Contact:

Public Information Officer Kenneth Gales 414-297-1700

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Updated November 27, 2019