Tecumseh, MI

Husband of Missing Dee Ann Warner Appeared in Court to Face Criminal Contempt of Court Charges

Tracy Stengel

Photo byTracy Stengel

Yesterday, Dale Warner, husband of Dee Ann Warner who has been missing from her rural Tecumseh, Michigan home since April 25, 2021, was in Lenawee County Probate Court facing multiple criminal contempt of court charges. These charges stem from allegations Dale Warner refused to follow court orders regarding Dee Ann Warner’s estate.

The night before Dee disappeared, she told friends and family she planned to tell Dale she wanted a divorce and to sell their various businesses. The next morning, she had vanished. Her family believes Dale is responsible for her disappearance.

Dee has four adult children from a previous marriage and shares a minor daughter with Dale.

Dale and Dee had several businesses. They each had 50% interest in all of the businesses except for the trucking company, DDW Investments, which is owned solely by Dee.

Russell Dempsey became the Conservator, whose job was to protect Dee’s estate. Yesterday, Dempsey testified that in October 2021 he met with Dale Warner, Mark Weisberg, and Dale’s attorney, Larry Leib to collect inventory and valuations.

When asked whether he knew Mark Weisberg was a CPA who had lost his license and was a convicted felon, Dempsey said, “Yes.” He began to get concerned in November 2021 when he discovered payroll taxes hadn’t been paid on DDW Investments.

“That’s when I first became alarmed something may be up,” Dempsey said. His worries escalated when Weisberg told him they may bankrupt DDW Investments due to the payroll tax liability. This confounded Dempsey as he described DDW Investments as, “the most successful” of all their businesses.

Dempsey discovered DDW Investments was being drained by fuel charges, operational costs, and the salaries of Dale Warner and Mark Weisberg, but there was no money coming in, making it look insolvent.

In late December 2021 or January 2022, Dempsey found out Dale had established another trucking company with a similar name, DDW Transportation, in August of 2021 and was funneling 100% of DDW Investments’ income into the new company.

Dempsey testified he went to Dale’s house to complete an inventory. He was accompanied by a sheriff’s deputy. “I felt unsafe,” he said. Dempsey described how Dale’s attorney, Larry Leib, came out to confront them. “He got very much in my face, making me very uncomfortable.”

Dempsey proceeded to inventory Dee’s jewelry. He was aware through receipts from jewelers and information garnered from Dee’s family that she owned thousands of dollars’ worth of fine jewelry. Instead, he found what he described as, “very nice costume jewelry.”

Dempsey admitted he was not a jeweler, so he gathered the jewelry to have it appraised. “Leib got in my face again,” he said.

After many unsuccessful attempts to get access to financial information from Dale Warner and Mark Weisberg, Dempsey stepped down from his role as Conservator and Charles Bullock became the Successor Conservator in May 2022.

Bullock testified he knew Dempsey, “felt threatened at some times,” while trying to fulfill his duties.

While both the Conservator and Successor Conservator expressed frustration of not getting access to documents and financial information that was court ordered from Warner and Weisberg, Leib maintained his client’s innocence. “We have not denied access to anything,” he said. He often repeated, “We’ve been open and transparent.” He also said, “Dale Warner did not do anything that was inappropriate.”

When Dee’s estate was estimated to be worth upward of 10 million dollars minus debt, Leib said, “That is frankly untrue and is a joke.” He described the trucking company as, “a small-town family operation.”

The hearing will continue June 6th and June 12th, 2023.

Gregg Hardy, Dee’s brother, gave me his reaction after leaving the courthouse. In reference to a statement Leib made saying they had offered a deal to settle the matter of Dee’s estate out of court, Hardy said, “The arrogance of this guy is beyond reproach. Their phony deal was unbelievable. There’s no chance the family is interested in doing a business divorce to let Dale buy these assets at a discounted price to try to normalize his life and move on.”

For background information on the disappearance of Dee Ann Warner, you can start here or join the Justice for Dee Facebook page for all the latest updates.

This is original content from NewsBreak’s Creator Program. Join today to publish and share your own content.

Comments / 45

Published by

Tracy explores the world with a positive eye, an open heart, and a sprinkling of humor. Without laughter, she would be lost.

Onsted, MI

More from Tracy Stengel

Comments / 0