Federal court arraigns Duluth manMADISON – A Duluth man accused for using checks drawn on closed bank accounts to purchase trucks and a SUV has been indicted in federal court on four counts of interstate transportation of stolen vehicles.
By: By Kevin Murphy/For the Superior Telegram, Superior Telegram
MADISON – A Duluth man accused for using checks drawn on closed bank accounts to purchase trucks and a SUV has been indicted in federal court on four counts of interstate transportation of stolen vehicles.
Gale A. Rachuy, 60, pleaded not guilty to all counts at his arraignment Sept 3. He was released with conditions, and faces 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and restitution on each conviction at trial set for Jan. 10, 2011.
The indictment issued Sept. 1 alleged that between April 20 and July 12, Rachuy took the vehicles either from Wisconsin or Minnesota and crossed state lines knowing the vehicles were stolen. A 2008 Chevrolet Silverado 4-by-4 crew cab pickup was the subject vehicle in two counts; taking it from Wisconsin to Minnesota on April 20; and from Minnesota to Wisconsin on May 1.
The indictment alleged the other vehicles were a 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser and a 1997 Nissan Pathfinder.
Rachuy allegedly obtained one of the vehicles from Benna Ford in Superior, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Grant Johnson.
Duluth police issued a warning to merchants Friday that Rachuy and his wife, Sandra Rachuy, had written US Bank and Park Street Bank checks to local businesses on closed accounts. Duluth police reported that Superior Meats, Computer Renaissance, Duluth; Adolph Store, town of Midway; Big Al’s, Webster; and Hill Side, location unknown, had received the closed account checks.
Last year, Rachuy unsuccessfully sued the cities of Superior and Duluth in federal court for more than $300,000 on claims that during a search of a John Avenue warehouse Rachuy rented, area police ruined up to 10 semi-loads of green-sawn lumber Rachuy had drying.
Police were investigated reports of stolen tires and that Rachuy had sold the same lumber to two customers when they entered the warehouse, turned off some utilities, seized tools and lumber, which greatly diminished the value of the green-sawn lumber.
Rachuy was never charged with a crime in connection with the search. He suffered a $300,000 loss when he sold the lumber and sought the return of tools, and compensation for property damage.
The suit Rachuy filed on Oct. 19 was dismissed for a lack of jurisdiction on Dec. 1. District Judge Barbara Crabb presided according to the judgment signed by Clerk of Court Peter Oppeneer for lack of jurisdiction.
Rachuy has a history of filing federal lawsuits against local officials dating back to 1990.