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Docs show former Riverlife partner signed mortgage for downtown Wausau property

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By Shereen Siewert

Mortgage documents show former Riverlife developer Mike Frantz signed a roughly $1.7 million promissory note to purchase a prime downtown parcel, despite statements to a local media outlet that he has no ownership stake in the property.

Marathon County land records show Mike Frantz purchased the property that now houses ABC Supply Co. for roughly $2.3 million in May, five weeks after filing for bankruptcy protection in which he reported being more than $40 million in debt. Marathon County documents show the ABC Supply Co. property, at 102 Fulton St., changed hands May 14 from Hendricks Commercial Properties to ABC Wausau LLC with a purchase price of $2,283,000.  ABC Wausau LLC, the limited liability company that purchased the property, was formed in August and lists Frantz as its agent.

Wausau Pilot and Review broke this story Aug. 5 after examining an array of public documents that detailed the sale, after which WSAW subsequently reported a story of its own. Then on Wednesday, Frantz issued a statement to WSAW denying ownership of the property.

“I absolutely do not own any of ABC Wausau Properties LLC,” Frantz was quoted as saying in the WSAW report. “I just helped them put together the deal.”

But mortgage documents obtained by Wausau Pilot and Review show Frantz is the sole signer for the $1,712,250 promissory note issued May 14 by First National Bank and Trust of Beloit. The notarized document, which is public record, lists Frantz as manager of ABC Wausau Properties LLC.

in addition, the owners mailing address for the property in Marathon County land records matches an address identified in federal court documents as belonging to Frantz.

Federal officials are already accusing Frantz of lying under oath about his assets during bankruptcy proceedings and on July 22 filed a complaint denying a discharge of Frantz’s debt. Court documents cite multiple false statements that suggest Frantz “knowingly and intentionally made false oaths on his bankruptcy schedules.”

“The aggregate errors and omissions in the Defendant’s bankruptcy schedules and his testimony at the meetings of creditors demonstrate either the Defendant’s intent to defraud or his reckless indifference for the truth,” the complaint reads. “The Defendant twice amended his schedules. Yet, he still failed to include all of his assets.”

Neither ABC Wausau Properties LLC nor the property at 102 Fulton Street are listed in Frantz’s most recent bankruptcy documents, which were filed weeks after the purchase took place.

Mike Frantz was part of the original development team for Wausau’s Riverlife Villages development, which included about $2.74 million in taxpayer-funded incentives. He remained a principal figure in the development until last spring and filed for bankruptcy on April 9.

Wausau Pilot and Review has requested articles of incorporation for ABC Wausau Properties LLC from the state of Wisconsin, a process that typically takes about 10 days to complete. Articles of incorporation, filed with the state Department of Financial Institutions, includes the name, signature and address of the incorporator, who is the person in charge of setting up a corporation.

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