August 19, 2011 | 11:49 AMA 50-year-old man who allegedly paid someone to break into a business to steal files, which he planned to use to blackmail the owner, faces numerous felony charges in Walworth County Circuit Court.
Charges were filed Aug. 11 against Richard A. Fores, of Milwaukee, faces felony charges of burglary, making threats to accuse someone of a Crime and theft of movable property. He also faces a misdemeanor charge of criminal damage to property.
If convicted of all counts, Fores faces up to 25 years imprisonment and $55,000 in fines.
Fores Criminal Complaint
According to the criminal complaint:
On July 9, police investigated a complaint of a burglary at Dancing Horses on Highway 50 in the town of Delavan.
The owner of Dancing Horses, Dana Montana, told police she left the office July 8 and everything appeared fine, but when she returned the next morning it appeared that someone had broken into a building at the facility.
Montana reported that $5,000 in cash was missing along with several files. She also found a note that stated, "Any calls to the police and my Private Investigator will make sure all the records will be personally delivered to the Feds. You should remember them from the last time you were booked for tax evasion."
Police checked the building and found a window screen was removed and glass was broken. However, a safe in the building was not damaged and it appears someone who knew the combination had opened it. Montana said only three people had the combination to the safe — herself, her accountant and Fores.
Montana's accountant came to work July 10 and reported that her computer, four external USB devices and a flash drive, which contains record to Dancing Horses and the Sugar Shack which Montana also owns, had been stolen.
Police raided Fores' home and during the search Fores said he didn't have the computer files or the money. He also said he knew nothing about the money that was taken from the safe.
Fores told police he hired a private investigator to break into Montana's office to collect information about the business. He did not tell the private investigator to take any money, but provided him with the safe's combination.
Fores told police he typed the note that was left on Montana's desk and gave it to the private investigator. Fores refused to give police the name of the private investigator he hired.
Police also reviewed an e-mail that Fores sent to Montana on July 9, the day after the burglary, which stated Montana had "one opportunity to pay $150,000 by the end of next week or else the records that I have will all be brought to the authorities who will end up prosecuting you."
He wrote, "I gave you numerous chances to get this settled before it had to get to this level. Once again I mentioned that when a mother bear has cubs with her she will rip anyone into pieces."