Failure to pay for football tickets leads to jail time

December 1, 2014


By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

HART — A 54-year-old four-time habitual offender is looking at spending the next year in jail for failing to pay for tickets to the University of Michigan vs. Notre Dame football game last September.

Roger Craig Beilfuss, of 215 S. Hancock, Pentwater, pleaded guilty in 27th Circuit Court Monday, Dec. 1, to a five-year felony of false pretenses – $1,000-$20,000. He is also convicted of habitual offender, fourth offense, with his lengthy criminal history.

Currently lodged in the Oceana County Jail, Beilfuss was arrested, Oct. 14, by the Pentwater Police Department for his most recent crime. He agreed to a plea deal that includes a maximum jail sentence of one year and paying restitution totalling $2,400.

With his habitual offender status, Beilfuss was looking at a potential life sentence, said 27th Circuit Court Judge Terrence R. Thomas.

“I was basically looking to purchase some tickets to the Michigan/Notre Dame game back in September 6 of this year, and I ran into a jam,” Beilfuss told the judge.

“You didn’t pay for it?” Thomas asked.

“Yes,” Beilfuss testified.

Beilfuss wasn’t the only one who “ran into a jam” Sept. 6. U of M suffered a huge 31-0 loss to Notre Dame — the first-ever Irish shutout over Michigan.

According to the Offender Tracking Information System (OTIS), Beilfuss was just released from a Michigan Department of Corrections prison less than a year ago. He was sentenced to two to 20 years in prison in Oceana County for larceny by conversion – $20,000 or more. As the contracted park manager of the John Gurney Park in Hart, Beilfuss took over $32,000 from the city back in 2009.

Beilfuss was also sentenced to prison in Newaygo County for two convictions of false pretenses – $1,000-$20,000 (the same charge he just pleaded guilty to Monday) and was sentenced to one year and five months to five years in prison for each count, according to OTIS.

Beilfuss had also served probation sentences for two previous convictions of larceny by conversion – $1,000-$20,000 in Osceola County, where he was sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison. His probation sentences include three additional convictions of false pretenses – $1,000-$20,000 in Muskegon and Newaygo counties. According to OTIS, he was sentenced on those convictions in 2006 and discharged in 2010.

Beilfuss’ sentencing is set for Dec. 29 at 9 a.m.

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