Restraining orders were served Tuesday on 14 businesses and several bank accounts tied to doctors Don and Marilyn Wagoner, freezing the married couple’s assets as prosecutors pursue a racketeering case.
Howard County Superior Court 1 Judge William Menges signed the restraining orders after police testified Don Wagoner appeared to be trying to move and/or liquidate assets.
The doctors each are facing more than a dozen felony drug dealing charges, with police saying they ran what amounted to a narcotics distribution ring under the guise of two family medical practices.
Now on top of the criminal charges, Howard County Prosecutor Mark McCann has filed a civil suit under Indiana’s anti-racketeering law, seeking a seizure of the Wagoners’ considerable assets.
County property records indicate the couple and associated limited liability corporations own more than 1,900 acres of land in Howard, Clinton and Carroll counties, most of it farmland owned by Wagoner Ag Properties, LLC and Wagoner Farm Properties, LLC.
McCann said the couple also controls numerous businesses, including Middlefork Feed and Grain, Inc., Frankfort, and Barnard Lumber Co., Bell Combine Services, E&K Sales and Wagoner Custom Services, all of Burlington, according to a forfeiture action filed July 25.
Kokomo Police Detective Tonda Cockrell filed an affidavit July 24, saying there were large and repeated money transactions, totaling more than $2 million, between the Wagoners, their businesses and various bank accounts during the period of December 2012 and January of this year.
The transfers included a $670,000 check from Middlefork Feed and Grain to Wagoner Inc., followed by a $130,000 check from Wagoner Inc. to Don Wagoner, according to the affidavit. A Salin Bank account showed more than $1 million in credits and charges in January, Cockrell stated.
Prosecutors called the medical practices “a front” for the Wagoners’ illegal activities, and said the Wagoners’ land and businesses represent the profit from their illegal enterprise.
The civil action, filed under Indiana’s Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) law, also claims the Wagoner businesses and bank accounts were used to launder the proceeds from the Wagoners’ alleged drug dealing.
McCann hired Indianapolis attorney Greg Garrison to pursue the racketeering case, with Garrison standing to receive 30 percent of anything forfeited.
Contracting with Garrison, McCann said, allows the prosecutor’s office to focus its resources on the criminal cases, and provides necessary separation between the forfeiture case and the criminal action.
Garrison said the state can continue to pursue the Wagoners’ assets in the civil case, regardless of the outcome of the criminal case. The civil case uses the “preponderance of evidence” standard, while the criminal case requires prosecutors to prove the charges “beyond a reasonable doubt,” he said.
The Wagoners, along with two other doctors from their clinics, two physician assistants, the head nurse and several office personnel have all pleaded not guilty to numerous charges.
In addition to accounts at Salin Bank and STAR Financial Bank, the court orders also froze assets at two brokerage firms, Stifel, Nicholaus & Co., Inc., and David Noyes & Co.
The Wagoners were both barred from transferring or selling any of their assets, including assets shared with other entities. Attorneys for the Wagoners didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Scott Smith can be reached at 765-454-8569 or at email@example.com.