CORUNNA — The owner of M-21 Towing and Recovery was sentenced to 30 days in jail Tuesday by 66th District Court Judge Ward Clarkson for a misdemeanor charge of larceny by false pretenses ($200-$1,000).
Brandon Vejcik, 40, of Owosso, began serving his sentence Tuesday, and is lodged at the Shiawassee County Jail. Vejcik was ordered to pay $1,000 in fines and costs upon his release. He was credited with one day served toward his sentence, and must pay restitution in an amount to be determined.
Court records indicate Vejcik will receive a term of probation, but do not state the length of the term.
Vejcik was charged Sept. 5 with conducting a criminal enterprise, insurance fraud and fraudulent insurance acts, all felonies. He turned himself in Sept. 10 and was arraigned the same day by Judge Terrance Dignan.
He pleaded not guilty and was given a personal recognizance bond. He was free until his sentencing Tuesday.
Court records indicate Vejcik pleaded guilty at a hearing in 66th District Court Oct. 29. In return for his plea, prosecutors dismissed all felony counts, and Vejcik instead pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge of false pretenses ($200-$1,000).
The incidents Vejcik was charged with occurred in December 2018. According to court documents, “M-21 did knowingly conduct or participate in the affairs of the enterprise directly or indirectly through a pattern of racketeering activity.”
According to the charges, on or about Nov. 21, 2018, Vejcik “did solicit Joshua Depeal (an M-21 employee) to commit… False pretenses over $200 but less than $1,000… Which had the same or a substantially similar method of of commission, and amount to or pose a threat of continued criminal activity.”
Depeal was charged April 18 with two identical counts of false pretenses ($200-$1,000) after overcharging customers for equipment that wasn’t used, and for services that were not performed. Following two separate vehicle crashes, both of which occurred less than a mile from Young Chevrolet Cadillac, the company towed two vehicles to the dealership.
Depeal originally rejected a plea deal offered by prosecutors in May. However, court records show the charges were dismissed “on motion of the prosecuting attorney” Nov. 4, less than a week after Vejcik pleaded guilty to his charge.
When Vejcik was originally charged, M-21 Towing was “suspended (from the county’s towing rotation) pending SCSO criminal investigation.” As of Tuesday morning, M-21 was still suspended from the county’s towing rotation, according to the Sheriff’s Office website, and it is unclear whether it will be reinstated. An email seeking clarification was sent to Sheriff Brian BeGole, but was not returned.
Without the plea agreement in place, the criminal enterprise charge carried a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and/or a fine of $100,000.
The insurance conspiracy charge would have been punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment and/or a $50,000 fine. The insurance fraud charge carried a possible four-year sentence and/or a $50,000 fine.
Vejcik had no prior criminal history in Shiawassee County prior to pleading guilty to the misdemeanor charge. He has been sued in civil actions twice, however, and has two minor traffic-related infractions.