MILTON

A rural Milton coin dealer faces felony charges for the second time this year for allegedly failing to pay thousands of dollars he owes to customers.

Michael C. Hakala, 58, of 4637 E. Oakview Drive, was charged in Rock County Court this week with five counts of issuing worthless checks, theft in a business setting and bail jumping.

Hakala’s accuser said he had done “high dollar” business on a regular basis with Hakala for about 10 years, since Hakala had worked for a company in Chicago and never had a problem, according to the criminal complaint.

Then in December 2017, the man agreed to provide seed money so Hakala could buy antique coins from an estate, the man told Milton police.

The man provided five half-bags of “junk silver,” each valued at $6,000, but by March 2018 the man had seen no return on his investment. He visited Hakala at his former business, Greater Midwest Trading Co. in Milton, to ask for his money back.

Hakala gave the man six checks for $6,000 each, but the first check he tried to cash bounced, according to the complaint.

The man tried for a year to get his money back but received only $5,040, according to the complaint. Hakala still owed him $25,960.

Hakala made his initial court appearance Monday, when he was released on a signature bond and ordered not to issue any checks for business transactions. His next court appearance is Wednesday, Sept. 11.

Hakala was convicted July 10 in a similar case, in which he was charged with theft by false representation for failing to make full payment on a transaction.

In that case, the victim said he had done business with Hakala for years and trusted him. The victim sold 20 Canadian maple leaf coins to Hakala in 2018 and received partial payment of $15,400 but not the full $23,400, according to the complaint.

Hakala was sentenced July 10 to five years’ probation for the 2018 case and for a 2017 case in which he was convicted of issuing worthless checks and theft by false representation, according to court records.