Eau Claire Man Found Guilty of Fraud

By KBJR News 1

Eau Claire Man Found Guilty of Fraud

January 7, 2013 Updated Jan 7, 2013 at 11:31 AM CDT

Madison, WI (NNCNOW.com) -- An Eau Claire man was found guilty of 50 counts of mail fraud after he allegedly engaged in a fraud scheme from 2003 through 2009.

61 year old Bernard C. Seidling allegedly used the Wisconsin small claims court system to gain small claim judgments against individuals and corporations based on false representations in lawsuits he filed.

Court records say that Seidling submitted false documents to convince the small claims courts that he had process servers attempt to serve the defendants when, in fact, those attempts either had not been made, or, as Seidling knew, would be unsuccessful because he knew the defendants did not live at the addresses he had provided.

In each of the lawsuits, Seidling allegedly claimed the maximum allowed of $5,000. He hid the filings of the lawsuits from the victims of his scheme, and then obtained default judgements.

Once he obtained the fraudulent default judgements, he filed them in the county where the victims actually lived or owned property, and also used them to attempt to file wage garnishments against the victims and the victims' property.

Court records say that Seidling acknowledged that he deceived small claims courts, clerks of court, and process servers, but he maintained that he did not deceive the actual victims of his scheme to defraud.

Seidling faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each of the 50 charges.

Posted to the web by Jenna Vogt