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Racine Man Charged With Creating a Fake News Release

Racine---A marketing campaign is alleged to have gone a couple steps over the line.

55 year-old Carl Sheeley was charged with identity theft Thursday for purportedly putting out a fake news release from the Racine County Executive’s office.

Sheeley apparently was attempting to publicize a new business of his.

The fake release included the official Racine County letterhead. But the rest of the document—emailed from an account that appeared to be official—was phony.

Authorities were contacted when Caledonia Village President Jim Dobbs—a retired cop—got his hands on the email and saw a quote attributed to him that he never said.

According to the criminal complaint, Sheeley denied creating the email. But investigators found that the phone number associated with the email account was Sheeley’s. 

Sheeley appeared in court Thursday and was released on a signature bond.