Tower Middle Man Accused Of Theft

Turbines can't turn a profit just anywhere, that is why a group of test towers in Omaha act like giant fingers to gauge the wind.

"Stacked up this is a total of 200 feet tall," said Mark Michel, Test Tower Owner.

Seeking wind test contracts, Mark Michel's company used a middle man he claims blew investors money.

"It was pretty devastating. We lost a lot of money and we were set way back," said Michel.

Ronald Baldwin, 42, is charged with felony theft by deception for allegedly spending more than 18 thousand dollars of company money on himself.

"We think that's BS Mike," said Steve Lefler, Defense Attorney.

Baldwins attorney said a jury should decide a civil dispute, not a theft case.

"There was no theft at all, no intent to steal, it was just different expectations," said Lefler.

But Michel said contracts for wind tests used to be a breeze. That is until this criminal investigation into the middle man Baldwin.

"I'd like to see my good friends get their money back as well as me and my partner and I definitely would like to see some justice," said Michel.

"There was absolutely nothing done that was criminal here," said Lefler.

Wind turbines generate interest in protecting the environment. But Michel said 'go green' shouldn't mean stolen money.

If convicted, Ronald Baldwin could be in a lot of trouble.

The maximum sentence for felony theft by deception is 20 years in prison and a 25 thousand dollar fine.

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