Marquette Condo Fraud Arraignment

3 of the 5 area businesspeople accused of fraud in a Marquette condo development say they had nothing to do with it.

Those 3 are Chad LaVallie, Brian Swift and Ryan Bruns.

They, and one of their other business partners, Michael Gokey, appeared in Marquette District Court for arraignment this morning.

They were investors in the Hawks Ridge Condominiums behind Econo Foods in Marquette.

Swift says the 3 of them relied on another business partner to oversee the project day to day, and they took information he gave them to be the truth.

He also says concerns that the 3 of them took to police about how the project was being run were what got the investigation started.

LaVallie, Swift, Bruns and Gokey have a preliminary exam 2 weeks from now.

Until then, they’re all free on $1,500 bond each.

Joel Westrom, the 5th person accused in the case, wasn’t in the courtroom because he hasn’t been arrested yet.

His whereabouts are unknown.

Westrom ran for office in 2006, but Steve Lindberg defeated him for a seat in the state House.