Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Child Support Case Reaches Appellate Court

Our child support system was not intended to allow wealthy parents to go after poor parents or to allow the County to facilitate such a action. Also the System requires no showing that the children are not being supported with a home, the basic necessities of life, education, health care… what our System does basically is deprive children of the love and companionship of parents which is vital support for children” Attorney Michelle MacDonald, Oral Arguements: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Child Court Case before the Court of Appeals

(5/24/2017, Minnesota) Oral Arguements in the Child Support Appeal of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki reveal the cruelty and vindictiveness of ex-husband, David Rucki (via attorney Lisa Elliott) and Dakota County (via James Donehower), who demand nearly $1,000 a month in payment from Sandra, who is lives in unimaginable poverty and does not even have the resources needed to secure her own survival.

According to Minnesota law Statute 518A.42 (2016) Subd1a.,”It is a rebuttable presumption that a child support order should not exceed the obligor’s ability to pay….

And Subd2.,”If the court finds the obligor receives no income and completely lacks the ability to earn income, the minimum basic support amount under this subdivision does not apply.” In cases where a parent lacks ability to pay child support is put on “reserve” and no amount is due until there is a change of circumstance. Minn. Stat. 518A.42 ABILITY TO PAY; SELF-SUPPORT ADJUSTMENT

Though Sandra is currently homeless and destitute, and currently unemployed, which is well documented, she has been court ordered by Magistrate Maria K. Pastoor to pay $975 per month in child support to ex-husband, David Rucki. The amount of child support ordered is based on an imputed amount, meaning Dakota County has made up a figure they feel Sandra should pay.

The facts of the case clearly show that Sandra is struggling to survive and cannot afford to pay child support, while Rucki enjoys a luxury lifestyle and is more than able to pay for the care of the children without child support or any government aid.

Rucki’s Lakeville property (Zillow.com)

Magistrate Pastoor has taken great efforts to be placed onto the Grazzini-Rucki child support case. By “coincidence” Magistrate Pastoor shares a previous professional relationship with Judge David Knutson, who previously presided over the Grazzini-Rucki child support and divorce.

Sandra became homeless after Dakota County Judge Knutson issued an order on September 7, 2012 that forced her to vacate her home of 15 years. She was denied any due process when forced to leave all of her possessions, and forcibly separated from her five children as well. Judge Knutson told Sandra that she would be arrested and jailed if she refused to follow his orders. Judge Knutson then issued a succession of court orders that seized Sandra’s income, assets, savings and even retirement fund and handed them over to Rucki – which she has never been able to recover.

Sandra has also had to witness continued physical and mental abuse inflicted on her children by David Rucki. The children were further traumatized by a family court system that has enabled the abuse to continue and punished Sandra for trying to keep them safe. In April 2013, two of Sandra’s daughters were forced to go on the run to protect their own lives. Sandra has since been charged, and convicted, with 6 felony counts of parental deprivation for her role in assisting her daughters. The circumstances surrounding Sandra’s trial and conviction involved a multitude of illegal and unethical actions from Dakota County, and Judge Karen Asphaug. Critics have called the proceedings a “rigged trial”. It is unlikely that Sandra will be allowed to return to work as a flight attendant with 6 felony convictions on her record. She has not been working for almost two years and is considered unemployable. A spotless, 30+ year career as a flight attendant is now in ruins and with it, Sandra has been grounded with no relief in sight.

For a few months in 2016, after being released from jail and anticipating a lengthy probation, the State of Minnesota offered Sandra food support and a small amount of general assistance. Assistance was then abruptly terminated, leaving Sandra without the ability to obtain food or the ability secure the basics: soap, toothbrush, shampoo now are all “luxuries” beyond reach.

Sandra also lacks medical and dental care. She continues to suffer from the effects of a broken nose and fractured skull that happened in an incident while she was held as a prisoner at the Ramsey County Workhouse in November 2015. Sandra cannot remember what happened to her because the severity of the injury resulted in her becoming unconscious. Sandra woke up lying on the floor in a pool of blood, moaning for help. The incident has never been investigated, nor explained by the jail or by Ramsey County, it has become another of the many abuses inflicted on her. And still Sandra is breathing, and with every breath, fighting back.

This child support case is also ridiculous considering David Rucki, ex-husband, claims poverty even though he is a multi-millionaire who owns 3 houses (one home Rucki claims is a rental property so it generates income), owns several vehicles, retains all of the marital property, is the beneficiary of the Rucki family trust and was enriched after a court awarded all of his ex-wife’s financial assets to him, which he has never paid taxes on. Court records also indicate that Rucki is paying attorney’s fees in an estimated amount of $800 per hour…how can he afford this lifestyle if he is truly impoverished?

David Rucki’s property in Farmington, MN

Rucki has more than enough money and resources to care for the children on his own and does not need child support or welfare. And yet that is not enough for Rucki.. as long as Sandra is alive he will continue to retaliate against her… though he can not beat Sandra with his fists, he uses the legal system to wield a blow.

(Video published 5/28/2017 by Tim Kinley, host and producer of “Speechless Minnesota”)

 

For More Information:

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki ordered to pay $1K monthly child support 

Radio: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and the Child Support Hustle with Guests Michael Volpe and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki (Marcus Echols). 5/9/2017.

 

Impoverished David Rucki Hires 2 Private Law Firms

David Rucki - Screenshot taken from ABC video. Source: CDN.

David Rucki – Screenshot taken from ABC video. Source: CDN.

David Rucki claims indigence, hires two private lawyers by Michael Volpe (CDN)

(Lakeville, Minnesota) “New information shows that David Rucki, whose contentious divorce and custody case received national media attention, hired two private law firms at the same time he claimed he was on public assistance.”

Attempts to further investigate have been challenged,“An email to James Backstrom, the head prosecutor whose office prosecuted Sandra Grazzini-Rucki for her role in her daughters’ disappearance, asking if this apparent welfare fraud would be prosecuted was left unreturned.

An email to Lakeville, Minnesota, David Rucki’s home town, Mayor Matt Little was also left unreturned; Little put out a Facebook post when the news of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s conviction was publicized congratulating Backstrom’s office; CDN asked Little if he favored an investigation of David Rucki into this alleged welfare fraud in the interest of fairness…”

Some additional information:

1. Lisa M. Elliott filed a responsive affidavit in July 2015, stating she has represented David Rucki since May 2011 and charges $310 an hour for her services.

 

Responsive Affidavit, Lisa Elliot, 7/2/2015

Responsive Affidavit, Lisa Elliot, 7/2/2015

 

2. The second attorney is Marshall H. Tanick, who represented Rucki in writing letters to two blog administrators, threatening civil claims “…that could lead to litigation seeking substantial damages against you and others“. Hellmuth and Johnson letter to Dede Evavold on behalf of David Rucki It is not clear if Rucki continues to retain Marshall H. Tanick.

3. Dede Evavold has filed a witness tampering complaint against Rucki in connection with this letter: Dede’s Criminal Complaint For Witness Tampering Against David Rucki & Former Star Tribune Hack Michael Brodkorb

The letter was sent to Mayor Matt Little (Lakeville), who is reportedly refusing to accept the complaint.

Dede wrote in her complaint: “After returning home on Sunday, June 12, 2016 I found what I consider a harassing and threatening extortion letter in my mailbox. The extortion letter was from David Rucki’s attorney Marsahll H. Tanick, Attorney at Law, Hellmuth & Johnson, PLLC.

I had a reasonable suspicion the wild, outrageous and unsubstantiated claims contained in the harassing and threatening extortion letter were meant to intimidate me into deleting the blog, Red Herring Alert, that I shared with Susan Carpenter. I also had a reasonable suspicion that Rucki’s harassing and threatening extortion letter was designed to coerce me into changing not only my plea but to coerce me into changing my testimony in Sandra’s rigged case.”

4. A complaint was previously filed against Tammy Jo Love, David Rucki’s sister, for medical assistance fraud in 2014.

Allegations include: Receiving medical assistance (MA) benefits for the Rucki children who do not live with her, and do not qualify for MA. Abusing her license as a chiropractor to illegally gain access to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and the children’s private medical information.

No public information is available on what happened after this complaint was filed; it appears no action was taken. Criminal charges were not filed.

https://www.scribd.com/doc/312673149/Tammy-Jo-Love-Ma-Fraud-Report-to-Dhs

Rucki is now employed with a trucking business being held in the name of his sister, T.L. Rucki Trucking. Rucki claims he has no ownership in T.L. Rucki Trucking, but reports that he is running the business from his home.  At the same time, Love’s vacation rental condo is listed as the business address. Paystubs issued from T.L. Rucki Trucking have been submitted to the Court to support Rucki’s statement that he is impoverished, and qualifies for medical assistance.

David Rucki’s Attorney, Lisa Elliott.  (Source: Red Herring Alert)

David Rucki’s Attorney, Lisa Elliott. (Source: Red Herring Alert)

 

5. Lisa Elliot has been implicated in a complaint of mortgage fraud involving David Rucki: Another Day in Lawless Lakeville: Fraud & Financial Abuse Allegations Surround David Rucki

Mortgage Fraud Allegations, Ireland Place. Rucki was accused of laundering money through real estate transactions. Other allegations include: Mortgage stacking, Title washing and Foreclosure fraud. Others accused involved: Robert Shingledecker, Sawbill Strategic, Inc., Attorney Lisa Elliott, Jacob Sellers, NJD Properties, LLC and Danmark Properties, LLC.

According to the complaint, “David Rucki and his attorney Lisa Elliot represented the estate in the foreclosure action. In 2012 and 2013 the defendants are alleged to have illegally washed the title of 19675 Ireland Place property of the original mortgage to make a new dollar mortgage obtained in the name of the above identified individuals and companies.  Proceeds of the stacked mortgage flowed into accounts controlled by David Rucki and other numerous parties, leads back to David Rucki and his attorney Lisa Elliot. This property is and has been in foreclosure (and foreclosed on), for sale (and sold 3 different times) in sheriff’s sale (and sold through sheriff’s sale) 7 different times in the last 10 months.

Source: Red Herring Alert Ireland Place Mortgage Fraud Allegations & Documentation

For more info:

Grazzini-Rucki Child Support Hearing Raises Concerns of Fraud, Abuse of Discretion

 

 

 

Grazzini-Rucki Child Support Hearing Raises Concerns of Fraud, Abuse of Discretion

lionmoney

An August 11th 2016 child support hearing in Dakota County regarding David Rucki and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, played out with the antics of a circus side show, freakishly contorting law and issuing orders that defy justice.

The hearing was presided by Magistrate Maria K. Pastoor (a magistrate is appointed in cases where the obligee is receiving public assistance). Magistrate Pastoor issued a temporary order for child support and continued the case to hold an evidentiary hearing, just 5 days before Sandra’s sentencing on criminal charges, to determine child support. How can you issue a child support order days before a person may be sentenced to prison? According to Minnesota law, if the court determines that a person has no income and completely lacks the ability to earn income, then the minimum support does not apply and child support may not be ordered. Also, minimum support orders do not apply to an obligor who is incarcerated, unless they have income and assets to pay support. Sandra has neither income or assets. It is unprecedented that Magistrate Pastoor would issue a child support order under these circumstances. The amount of money and resources Dakota County has expended on pursuing Sandra for child support, has far exceeded any benefit it can hope to gain.

Another bizarre aspect of this child support case is the restrictions Magistrate Pastoor put on attorney, Michelle MacDonald, severely limiting her ability to access and review financial information about David Rucki. Ms. MacDonald has filed several discovery requests, and contempt motions against Rucki. Rucki continues to obstruct child support proceedings by refusing to comply with court orders and provide financial information. Another ploy Rucki uses is filing frivolous motions against Sandra, and waging false accusations without evidence to back up his outlandish claims. Dakota County refuses to hold him accountable, contempt orders are always dismissed.

Millionaire David Rucki now claims to be living in the lowest levels of poverty, and is receiving public assistance without ever proving a need for it.

One Sided Evidentiary Hearing

In order to establish child support the Court has to determine the income of BOTH parents. Under Minnesota law, both parents must file a financial affidavit, and disclose all sources of gross income for purposes of child support. Sandra has complied. David Rucki is refusing to cooperate and is actively hiding income and assets. Rucki is also refusing to comply with discovery requests. Dakota County is well aware that he has refused to provide information, but has done nothing to hold him accountable.

Now, Magistrate Pastoor has issued an order severely limiting the ability of Sandra’s attorney, Michelle MacDonald, to review and access financial information about Rucki.  Pastoor’s bizarre order states that Ms. MacDonald may view Rucki’s recent filing and tax return only under the watch of a sheriff’s deputy at the Dakota County Service Center. Ms. MacDonald can not have any electronics in her possession when viewing the information (is she going to be searched? patted down?). Ms. MacDonald is not allowed to have copies of the actual documents but can take handwritten notes (how does that comply with evidentiary standards?). She may only view the information at a time “acceptable to court administration”. There are ways to protect the confidentiality of parties but what Magistrate Pastoor is imposing is oppressive, and goes above and beyond standard court confidentiality policies.

A fair and impartial evidentiary hearing can not be one sided – each party should be treated the same by the Court, and each held to the same set of rules and practices. Let’s be clear – this is a child support case, NOT a national security issue. The order does not indicate any justification for such drastic measures. This is clearly an abuse of discretion.

Rucki: From Riches to Rags

Pic posted by David Rucki, Facebook April 2016, with a statement about missing daughters.

Without providing any proof of income or assets. millionaire David Rucki now claims he is desperately poor, that the children are starving and struggling, and he requires public assistance in order to survive. According to court records, “The Father (Rucki) receives child support services from Dakota County for the joint children pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act.” Rucki has also received assistance from the Wetterling Foundation in obtaining “reunification” therapy in California for his runaway teenage daughters, with a Disney vacation thrown in.

However, the court record also contains evidence that Rucki had substantial income, had ownership in several Minnesota businesses, owns or has possession of, multiple vehicles and has at least 3 real estate properties (two that have recently been remodeled). Even if Rucki refuses to comply with discovery, and even if Rucki refuses to provide the Court with documentation, his income could be imputed for child support purposes. When a Court, and for that matter Dakota County should also be considering this information for eligibility purposes, estimates a party’s income, it can consider a broad range of information – including lifestyle, ability to maintain current expenses, cash flow and other concrete resources (including vehicles). Also, a support order does not have to be based on income alone but can also consider resources, property and business interests.

According to public records, “impoverished” Rucki owns two separate homes in Minnesota, and an additional Disney vacation property in Florida. Rucki owns multiple vehicles, including classic cars. Rucki owns assets, trucks, and equipment related to his trucking business. In addition, Rucki is able to afford expensive legal counsel, and has retained at least two separate law firms to represent his interests.

dave-ruckicaddy

David Rucki driving his classic Cadillac – used to stalk and harass Sandra Grazzini-Rucki

Consider This:

A prior real estate listing boasts about Rucki’s home in Farmington – recently updated, cherry cabinets, tiled floors, 5 bedrooms and 3 baths, and a two car garage. The property also includes an impressive 65 x 45 heated “shed” that towers over the home. The “shed” includes heat, hot and cold water plumbing, and has an expensive trailer parked out in front. According to public tax statement records, the value of the property is listed at $222,000 with property taxes of $3,315 a year.

http://www.movoto.com/lakeville-mn/17549-flagstaff-ave-lakeville-mn-55024-651_4573184/

Rucki's property in Farmington

Rucki’s property in Farmington (movoto.com)

Rucki also owns a home in an upscale neighborhood in Lakeville – this home includes 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, recent updates, hickory floors and stainless appliances. Total lot size is 22,477 square feet. A recent photo of the home, taken by a satellite map, shows 3 vehicles parked in garage. According to property tax records, the current value of the home is $479,000 with $6,492 in propety taxes.

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/19675-Ireland-Pl-Lakeville-MN-55044/1666608_zpid/

Rucki's Lakeville property (Zillow.com)

Rucki’s Lakeville property (Zillow.com)

A previous article on Red Herring Alert offers information and documentation alleging that Rucki was involved in mortgage fraud and title washing in a scheme involving the Lakeville home: MORTGAGE FRAUD? Ireland Place (Red Herring Alert)

In addition, Rucki has been enriched by court orders, issued by Judge David Knutson, that seized Sandra’s portion of her father’s life insurance, and seized all the assets in a family company that belonged to Sandra, and placed millions of dollars right into Rucki’s pocket. Sandra received zero funds from proceeds that rightfully belonged to her. What Rucki did with the proceeds is unclear; the funds have been excluded from child support calculations due to the order of Judge Knutson. Why wouldn’t this be considered income when determining child support? Because Judge Knutson said so!

Dakota County, and its collusive network of courts and agencies, operates like a hall of mirrors in a circus side show, distorting facts, and twisting law until the truth is barely recognizable.

Judge David L Knutson

Judge David L Knutson

Keep on Truckin’

David Rucki made millions working in the trucking industry. He is the sole owner of Rucki Enterprises and Rucki Trucking, and also is a partner in local companies Kang Contracting Corp. (uses Rucki’s Farmington address) and K&K Contracting.

Dave Koehnen, Rucki’s partner in K&K Contracting, has an interesting past. In 2007, Koehnen, was the owner of a trucking company, that was under federal investigation for fraud, underpaying drivers and falsifying records on road projects. According to the warrants, investigators sought evidence of conspiracy to defraud the federal government, making false statements in connection with federally funded highway projects and mail fraud.” http://www.twincities.com/2007/08/01/dakota-county-3-trucking-firms-accused-of-fraud/ Koehnen attempted to file bankruptcy on this business but the filing was dismissed after a Court determined that he failed to pay back taxes in the amount of $235,000 with the IRS and $98,000 with the Minnesota Department of Revenue. Koehnen also has a history of traffic violations, including charges related to violating trucking regulations.

This is not to say that Rucki is responsible for Koehnen’s actions. However, Rucki’s business partnership in K&K Contracting, in combination with failure to disclose income, failure to disclose tax returns, and now reporting that he lives at the poverty level without providing any evidence to support those claims should raise concerns because of the pattern that is emerging.

As for Kang Contracting Corp, one of the addresses it uses is Rucki’s house in Farmington. Kang Contracting Corp received a special contract with Metropolitan Council to help build the “green line” transit train, qualifying as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (51% minority owned business, must be a small business with income guidelines to qualify). The Green Line is an expansive transit project underway in the Twin Cities, with $626 million dollars issued in total contract values. Rucki is a partner in one of 135 DBEs at work on the Green Line, a golden opportunity. How could he be losing money to the point he is impoverished and needing public assistance to survive when awarded such a valuable contract? Metro Council 2014 – Central Corridor Green Line Workforce Story

 Recently, sister Tammy Jo Love, owner of Deephaven Chiropractic, has joined the trucking business, establishing TL Rucki Trucking. TL Rucki Trucking is registered to a home in Eden Prairie, which Tammy uses as a vacation rental. If you look carefully at the logo for TL Rucki Trucking you will see it is the exact same logo used for Rucki Trucking with just a “TL” added to it. TL Rucki Trucking has entered a similar program as Kang Contracting Corp, qualifying for assistance with the City of St. Paul Vender Outreach Program aimed at helping woman-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses. Eligible businesses are certified and then allowed to bid on city funded projects, which are set aside for these specially qualified businesses, allowing exclusive access to bids and projects. How can Rucki be losing money to the point he is living in poverty when his own sister, who has no experience working in the trucking industry, started her own business using the family name, and is now a successful business woman? Or, if Rucki is so destitute that he needs public assistance in order to support his family, why doesn’t he just ask his sister for a job at TL Rucki Trucking?

Yet no one in the Dakota County family court or child support proceedings is asking questions, just the opposite, efforts to raise concerns and present information are being suppressed not only in the court system but also within the County Attorney’s office as well.

 

James Donehower Admits: Dakota County Gave Public Assistance to Rucki Without Asking for Income Verification

County Attorney James Donehower has now admitted that Dakota County has NO financial records of any kind for David Rucki, they simply extended him public assistance. How is this possible? Nobody knows! It’s a slight of handle trick fit for a circus.

Public assistance fraud happens when a recipient takes benefits they are not entitled to. The biggest red flag for public assistance fraud is failure to report income. Another form of fraud is under reporting income to meet eligibility requirements. Fraud also includes: failure to report property or assets, lying about where you live, and falsifying information on an application.

Donehower is basically saying that Rucki bypassed federal and state laws, and was just given public assistance with no questions asked, and no documentation required. When applying for public assistance, enrollees must provide verification of income (current paystubs, tax returns, verification of employment, etc), provide verification of assets (value of vehicles, bank accounts, property, stocks/bonds etc) and to complete an interview with a caseworker. Recipients are also required to get a job or comply with an employment plan. Failure to do so may result in sanctions or loss of benefits. According to Donehower, NONE of that is happening with David Rucki.

The special treatment Rucki is being afforded by Dakota County is unheard of. Common sense would question why a man with 3 homes, owns multiple vehicles, has a previous earning potential of millions of dollars would suddenly, and without any proof of need, require public assistance. Yet Dakota County is not asking any questions, they are simply opening their pocketbooks. If Rucki can not demonstrate a need for public assistance, and comply with the rules of eligibility, he should not be receiving benefits.

Public Domain: pixaby.com

Public Domain: pixaby.com

In the Grazzini-Rucki case, the courts of Dakota County have operated like a 3 ring circus involving criminal, family and child support proceedings – all have allowed abuse and chaos to continue in the lives of Sandra and the children. The facts, evidence, and information being suppressed and ignored by Dakota County is the information that we should be looking into because the vast injustices happening in this case undermine the legal system for everyone, and create a very real risk of harm for any family who may encounter the system.