Docket call set for Lindle case

ALPENA – As Alpena business woman Vickie Lindle stepped up to the defendant’s table in the 26th Circuit Courtroom of Judge Michael Mack, her company, Lindle Investments, LLC, made its first appearance on a charge of welfare fraud Monday.

Attorneys used the two-minute hearing to set a docket call for 9 a.m., June 16. At that time, Lindle Investments could enter a plea of no contest, according to earlier reports.

The holding company, which owns Z’s Crossroads, is now accused of committing welfare fraud after charges were dropped in April against Lindle’s husband, Phil Lindle, and daughter, Vanessa Lindle.

The two were arrested in November 2013 after state and federal officials conducted a sting operation. Investigators alleged the two sold synthetic marijuana as a gift with purchase to Z’s Crossroads customers, who paid for cuts of meat with food stamps or Michigan Bridge cards.

Instead of pursuing jail time and restitution, Alpena County Prosecutor Ed Black said in April he was targeting closure of the truck stop at 1141 US-23 North. The property is listed for sale at $649,000.

On Monday, Vickie Lindle’s attorney, Matthew Wojda, said Black needed more time to do due diligence.

Investigators with the Michigan Department of Human Services said the fraud totaled more than $63,000. Nine food stamp users were arrested during the investigation, and 23 people were disqualified from the food assistance program.

Betsy Lehndorff can be reached via email at blehndorff@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Betsy on Twitter @bl_alpenanews.