Donald Haugland, also known as Sonny Hill, was indicted this week by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy and wire fraud.
The one-time car mogul's dozen dealerships -- including one in Lawrence -- filed for bankruptcy in 1995. Haugland himself filed for bankruptcy last year.
The federal indictment was set up last month when the Platte City, Mo., man, who was expected to plead guilty in federal court to defrauding his lenders, surprised the court by saying his expected plea had been coerced.
According to the indictment announced Thursday, Haugland conspired with others to falsify his dealerships' books to conceal their negative cash position from his lenders. One of the lenders, Chrysler Credit Corp. (CCC), allegedly suffered a loss of $1.04 million. The other, General Motors Acceptance Corp. (GMAC), allegedly suffered a loss of $2.4 million.
Haugland was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and eight counts of wire fraud. He faces a maximum of five years in prison for conspiracy and an additional five years on each count of wire fraud.
Charles Dent of Lee's Summit, Mo., former secretary and treasurer for Sonny Hill dealerships, and Barbara Ouverson of Shawnee, former business accounting manager, also were charged.
Dent, 39, was charged with one count of wire fraud and faces up to five years in prison.
Ouverson, also known as Barbara Zils, 51, was charged with wire fraud, for which she faces up to five years in prison.
-- Richard Brack's phone message number is 832-7194. His e-mail address is email@example.com.