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Milwaukee man arrested in lien scheme against attorneys, judges

A Milwaukee man who for months eluded arrest after allegedly filing bogus liens has been apprehended and released on bail, according to a news release Wednesday from Attorney General J.B. Hollen.

U.S. postal inspectors arrested Cornelius Robert Hill on Aug. 29 when he went to pick up his mail at a downtown Milwaukee post office, Department of Justice spokeswoman Dana Brueck said.

Hill faces 12 counts of criminal slander of title for filing false Department of Financial Institutions Uniform Commercial Code liens against 12 public officials and attorneys in Milwaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties in 2011 and 2012, according to a criminal complaint filed April 30 in Dane County Circuit Court by DOJ special agent David Klabunde.

Each count is a class H felony punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Hill’s victims include attorneys, police officers, prosecutors and judges involved in foreclosure lawsuits and other civil and criminal cases against Hill, according to the complaint. The financing statements alleged they owed Hill money ranging from $500,000 to more than $210 million. The complaint stated none of the victims consented to the liens. Hill has been ordered to have no contact with victims as a condition of bail.

A preliminary hearing will be held at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in Dane County Circuit Court. Assistant Attorney General Roy Korte is handling the prosecution.

Victims also filed a civil lawsuit against DFI in Dane County in April. The suit asks the department to remove their names from its database of UCC filings. State laws require a court order for the names to be expunged. Assistant Attorney David Rice has said the agency is cooperating.

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