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Businessman to plead in bank fraud case

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin businessman is set to plead guilty to fraudulently obtaining bank loans in a deal with federal prosecutors.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that Paul Piikkila’s deal calls for him to acknowledge committing conspiracy to defraud his employer, Horicon Bank, of more than $700,000. Piikkila, of Appleton, also agreed to testify in the case, which involves De Pere businessman Ron Van Den Heuvel. Van Den Heuvel has pleaded not guilty to a 13-count indictment.

According to the agreement, Piikkila helped Van Den Heuvel and his wife secure more than $1 million in loans from the bank through fraud in 2008 and 2009.

The fraud case is separate from business deals in which Wisconsin’s flagship jobs agency gave Van Den Heuvel’s businesses more than $1 million.

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