Prosecutor alleges Dickerson padded company's financial data on application

Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Weaver Dickerson

DEXTER, Mo. -- Prosecutors have added deceptive business practices to the crimes they believe were committed by Weaver Dickerson, the former president and CEO of a proposed Cape Girardeau medical clinic.

Stoddard County Prosecuting Attorney Russ Oliver filed a second amended motion Monday to revoke Dickerson's probation, alleging that Dickerson padded the company's financial data on a state loan application last July. The motion claims that Dickerson "recklessly made a false or misleading written statement for the purpose of obtaining property or credit."

The motion alleges that Dickerson claimed on an application for a state Action Fund Loan that Hometown Holdings Group had $430,133 cash on hand. But the company's bank statements that were subpoenaed by investigators actually showed an available $150,063 on hand, a shortfall of about $280,000, the motion says.

"I filed this with the court to inform the court that a portion of our investigation has revealed additional information about a new crime that Mr. Dickerson committed," Oliver said. "The investigation on other matters and other facets of his application is ongoing. I expect to file another amended motion once the investigation is complete."

Oliver's motion Monday also asks the judge to wait to set a date for the revocation hearing until the investigation is complete.

The first motion claims Dickerson violated his probation, which was for writing more than $90,000 in bad checks in 2006 and 2007, by committing new crimes, including making a false affidavit and making a false declaration in his application for $2 million in state aid. Weaver is no longer employed by the company, which is proposing to build Watch Me Smile, a vision and dental cooperative, in downtown Cape Girardeau.

The state's Department of Economic Development had authorized more than $2 million in state aid, but withdrew its authorization when it learned that Dickerson had signed the application, which claimed that no owner of the company had ever committed a felony or was on probation.

The department referred the matter to Oliver's office to investigate possible probation violations, but now Oliver said the DED has been less than cooperative. Oliver wouldn't comment about what information his investigators were seeking, but he did say that they haven't gotten information from the DED that they have asked for.

"We've given them more than sufficient time," Oliver said. "We've run into some stonewalling and my detectives have had some problems getting information."

DED spokesman John Fougere did not return phone calls Monday seeking comment, but he did send a brief e-mailed response.

"We are continuing to cooperate and provide information to the prosecuting attorney and local law enforcement in this matter," Fougere wrote in the e-mail.

Oliver said he was hopeful that the investigation could be concluded in the next 30 days.

Dickerson's replacement, Angie Kapp, did not return phone calls seeking comment Monday.

smoyers@semissourian.com

388-3642

Pertinent address:

325 Broadway, Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

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