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Fraud case goes to special prosecutor

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Darryl Enriquez
October 14, 2010
— A special prosecutor will be appointed for the case of a 41-year-old Lake Geneva woman accused of sending fake letters from the Walworth County District Attorney's Office to derail the pending trial of a friend's sixth drunken driving charge.

Michelle Irwin appeared Wednesday before Walworth County Judge Robert Kennedy to hear him approve a special prosecutor to take over the case.


Kennedy said it is likely attorneys in the Walworth County District Attorney's Office would be witnesses in the case, which is why it should be handled by a prosecutor from another county.


Irwin is accused of sending letters to state witnesses who might have testified against Mark "Tony" Cantieri in the jury trial in June, according to a criminal complaint. The letters said the trial was cancelled.


Irwin had Walworth County stationery and envelopes from previous legal matters. She used the cut and paste function on her computer to create the error-riddled letters, according to the criminal complaint.


She signed the name of Assistant District Attorney Steven J. Madson, but misspelled it as Madsen, according to the complaint.


The letters had photocopied black and white district attorney logos. The real logos are in color.


The special prosecutor will review the facts to determine if it should go forward as now presented or if a new criminal complaint should be drafted by an office outside Walworth County, Kennedy said.


A review of progress on appointing a special prosecutor will be at 1 p.m. Nov. 18. Irwin is free on bond.



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