Not too long ago we shared with you a case that was moving so slowly that many people felt it would never actually reach any kind of resolution. This would be none other than the damage case against the members of the now disbanded Sigma Alpha Mu, who allegedly caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to the Treetops Resort in Gaylord.
Joshua Kaplan and Zachary Levin, the former president and treasurer of SAM on U of M’s campus, have both been charged with Furnishing a place for the consumption of drugs or alcohol by minors. This is a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to 30 days in jail or a fine of $1,000 upon conviction.
Court records show that the pair recently appeared in court, where the Judge explained to them their options in the coming months. A plea agreement has been offered by the prosecution, but the two business major students have not yet decided whether or not to accept it.
Judge expressed opinion that jail time not the best option
Should they take the plea option, or otherwise be convicted at trial of the charges against them, the Judge has already expressed the opinion that jail time would not be the best option. According to court records, Judge Patricia Morse believes that the damages were done to the community, and therefore it makes the most sense that the punishment should be community service, which would offer the defendants an opportunity to give back to the community.
A telephone conference is scheduled for the end of September, involving the two former fraternity members, the Judge and the prosecutor, at which time it will be determined whether or not they will be accepting the plea offer.
The other two SAM members to face criminal charges in this matter are Matthew Vlasic and Jesse Krumholz. Vlasic was initially charged with Malicious Destruction of a Building over $1,000, which is a felony under Michigan law. However, he accepted a plea bargain and instead pled guilty to a misdemeanor count of Malicious Destruction of a Building over $200 but under $1,000. He has been ordered to pay a $2,000 fine.
Krumholz was facing similar charges and has also already accepted the identical plea offer. He pled guilty to a misdemeanor count of Malicious Destruction of a Building over $200 but under $1,000, and is scheduled for sentencing on September 17th.
Criminal charges aside, the Treetops Resort has brought a civil suit against a number of SAM members, along with members of the sorority involved, Sigma Delta Tau. They are seeking a total of $430,000 in damages, lost revenue, and associated costs.