Judge orders competency exam in copper thefts

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Friday, January 11, 2013

— A Janesville man accused of stealing millions of dollars worth of copper pipe from his employer has been ordered to undergo a psychological exam.

Rock County Judge James Daley on Thursday ordered a competency exam for Steven R. Stoikes, formerly of 4012 Ingram Drive, Janesville. Stoikes is living in a veterans home in King and is being treated for brain damage caused by carbon monoxide poisoning, defense attorney Walt Isaacson said.

"He has a memory, but it doesn't last long at all," Isaacson said about Stoikes' condition.

Stoikes, 43, is charged with five counts of felony theft. He is accused of using his position as a general manager at Butters-Fetting, 2627 County O in the town of La Prairie, to order materials he then sold to recycling facilities, according to the criminal complaint filed in early December.

Stoikes was $3.22 million in the hole at Ho Chunk Gaming, according to the criminal complaint.

Stoikes had gone to Ho Chunk a total of 514 times since October 2006, according to the complaint. He wagered or spent winnings totaling $24.27 million. He was paid $21.05 million, according to Ho Chunk records.

Alter Metal Recycling in Janesville had receipts showing payment to Stoikes of $965,203 for copper. That was the scrap value of the copper, according to the complaint. The actual value was between $2 million and $3 million, an Alter account representative told police.

Stoikes had been selling copper to Alter for more than seven years, the representative said.

Between July 2010 and July 2012, Stoikes sold 299,493 pounds of copper to Alter, according to the complaint.

In order to stand trial, a defendant must be able to understand the charges he or she faces and be able to participate is his or her defense. Stoikes' competency hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 14.

Stoikes is free on a $2,500 signature bond, according to online court documents. He faces $125,000 in fines or 50 years in prison.

Last updated: 8:04 am Monday, April 29, 2013

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