Kyle Charged With Felonies; Attorney: 'Entirely Innocent'
CHN Staff Report
MARQUETTE, Mich. Former Northern Michigan coach Walt Kyle was arrested Friday on two counts of felony fraud, ABC 10 in Marquette reported. The charges were later confirmed by the Marquette County Sheriff's Office.
Kyle was charged with one count of residential mortgage fraud and one count of forgery of documents. He was released on bond.
Kyle was informed just hours earlier that he was fired as head coach of the Wildcats after 15 years at the helm. A former captain for NMU, he was just the second coach in the program's history.
Kyle's attorney, George Hyde, called his client "entirely innocent" as he released a statement Friday night, which said:
"These charges against my client, Mr. Walt Kyle, are extremely unfortunate and a prime example of misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the facts.
"The facts are the following: while married to his former wife, his former wife granted him a general power of attorney on her behalf, which authorized him to sign her name on her behalf on any financial documents. While still married, Mr. Kyle and his then wife, Ann Kyle, jointly decided to refinance an existing bank loan in order to complete certain home repairs. Mr. Kyle did nothing more than sign his wife's name to the loan documents, with his wife's full knowledge and consent. The home repairs were completed while Mr. Kyle and Ann Kyle were still married.
"During subsequent divorce proceedings, Ann Kyle sought to avoid responsibility for the loans by falsely claiming no knowledge of them. That didn't work, and the judge in the divorce correctly determined that the loan was a joint debt. This loan was paid in full during the divorce proceedings.
"Undeterred, Ann Kyle has since convinced a local sheriff deputy to seek charges against Mr. Kyle, despite the existence of the valid power of attorney that Ann Kyle had granted her husband.
"The bottom line is this: Mr. Walt Kyle did nothing wrong and broke no laws whatsoever. These charges are the unfortunate result of his former wife's campaign to disparage him, which is ironic given her criminal behavior during their divorce proceedings that until now Mr. Kyle has been reluctant to report to the authorities."
Note: All charges against Kyle were ultimately dismissed. — ed.