Suspected horse swindler leaving trail of crime (MI)

Susan Younger, Sports Editor for THE COUNTY PRESS filed this report:
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IMLAY CITY – The law hopes to unsaddle a suspected horse swindler who is facing 20 years behind bars if convicted.

Chisholm Alexander, of Imlay City, was arrested and arraigned on an array of charges including conducting a criminal enterprise, two courts of forgery, two counts of felony animal industry violation, and two counts of larceny by conversion.

Alexander is suspected of forging interstate health certificates that were produced by a veterinarian out of Langsburg, Mich. and sold to a woman in Delaware.

“The woman didn’t feel the horse had the right disposition, so she backtracked to the veterinarian,” said MSP D/Sgt. Mark Reaves. “The veterinarian said it was forged. We executed a search warrant and found another certificate that is thought to be forged.”

The larceny by conversion charges stem from a woman in Pennsylvania who contends that she paid money to Alexander for two ponies and never received them.

The criminal enterprise count involves a horse sold to a woman in Kansas and previous allegations.

“She contends the horse she got is not the horse advertised on the Internet,” said Reaves. “She said it was a completely different horse. This charge includes offenses that previously occurred between 2004 to 2007.

Since 2004, dozens of victims have contacted state police, the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Department and the Lapeer County Prosecutor’s office claiming they’ve been wrangled out of cash by Alexander, who faced a multitude of felony charges. But the horse trader made restitution to many of his victims and was able to avoid prison time. On a recent conviction he spent 60 days in the Lapeer County Jail and is serving Lapeer Circuit Court probation until November.

“These complaints are not stopping,” said Lapeer County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Mike Hodges. “If convicted, he faces charges of habitual fourth. He doesn’t have a license.”

The Hunters Creek Road ranch under investigation was previously called Old Time Acres and licensed under the name of Chisholm Alexander and his mother Genevieve Alexander. A new livestock dealer license was provided in November 2007 under the name Great Lake Sport Horses. It is at the same location, this time doing business solely under the name of Genevieve Alexander, said Department of Agriculture agent Al Rodreguiz previously.

Alexander is represented by Sterling Heights based attorney Thomas J. Tomko.

“We were in court yesterday and we adjourned the case until April 25, said Tomko Thursday. “I’m waiting for discovery from the Lapeer County Prosecutor’s office to find out the basis for the criminal enterprise charge.”

Alexander got caught in a downward spiral when he used a credit card with terms saying they could hold his money for six months, said Tomko.

“Chisholm said he didn’t know the terms and was writing checks that were no good,” said Tomko. “That’s part of the domino effect that started this.”

Susan Younger may be reached at (810)664-0811, ext. 8122 or susan.younger@lapeergroup.com
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