Monday, October 05, 2009
Montana jail entrepreneur ordered to appear in California court
MATTHEW BROWN Associated Press Monday, October 5, 2009
BILLINGS - A California judge has ordered American Police Force figure Michael Hilton - a felon with a history of fraud seeking to operate an empty Montana jail - to appear in court on Oct. 27 over an outstanding judgment in a fraud lawsuit.
The Oct. 2 order follows a proposal by American Police Force, Hilton's newly minted California company, to take over and run a 464-bed jail in Hardin, Mont.
In this Friday, Sept. 25, 2009 picture, Michael Hilton stands outside the city offices after meeting with Hardin, Mont. officials. Hilton pitched himself to the city as a military veteran turned private sector entrepreneur - a California defense contractor with extensive government contracts who promised to turn the rural city's empty jail into a cash cow. But now a much different picture of Hilton is emerging from public documents and interviews with his associates and legal adversaries. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)
The judgment in the case is among several against Hilton totaling more than $1.1 million. In that case, Hilton lured investors to sink money into an assisted living complex in Southern California that was never built.
Hilton also spent several years in state prison in California in the 1990s.
Hardin built its jail in 2007 as an economic development project, but has been unable to fill it.
UPDATE: American Police Force changes their name