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January 11, 2011

Felony Charges Filed in Film Office Case

(DES MOINES, Iowa)  Attorney General Tom Miller Monday filed criminal charges against four defendants in the Iowa film office case.  The charges were filed with the Polk County Clerk of Court through Trial Information documents.  The defendants and charges are as follows:

  • Thomas Wheeler, 42, Indianola, IA

Felonious Misconduct in Office (3 counts) – Class D Felony
Fraudulent Practice in the First Degree (3 counts) – Class C Felony
Conspiracy (1 count) – Class D Felony
            Link to Trial Information

  • Bruce Heppner-Elgin, 42, Washington, IA

Theft in the First Degree (2 counts) – Class C Felony
Fraudulent Practice in the First Degree (2 counts) – Class C Felony
Ongoing Criminal Conduct (1 count) – Class B Felony
Link to Trial Information

  • Chad Witter, 37, Bettendorf, IA

Fraudulent Practice in the First Degree (2 count) – Class C Felony
Theft in the First Degree (2 count) – Class C Felony
Ongoing Criminal Conduct (1 count) – Class B Felony
            Link to Trial Information

  • Dennis Brouse, 60, Plattsmouth, NE

Fraudulent Practice in the First Degree (1 counts) – Class C Felony
Theft in the First Degree (1 counts) – Class C Felony
Ongoing Criminal Conduct (1 count) – Class B Felony
            Link to Trial Information

A criminal charge is merely an accusation and defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  Convictions on felonies could result in fines, plus the following maximum prison sentences: Class B Felony -- 25 years; Class C Felony -- 10 years; Class D Felony -- 5 years.  The defendants are scheduled to appear for arraignment on January 18 in Polk County District Court.

The Iowa Film Office criminal investigation is ongoing.

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