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London Free Press Business Section:


Only paperwork standing in way of Fulkerson's return

JANE SIMS, Free Press Justice Reporter   2004-01-15 03:31:47  

Chatham-Kent police are arranging to retrieve a fugitive lunar realtor found selling hand lotion at a Las Vegas mall kiosk. Lisa Fulkerson, 33, waived extradition Tuesday after the FBI arrested her on a provisional warrant.

She remained in custody at the Las Vegas city jail last night, awaiting removal from the U.S.

"We're waiting for all the paperwork to go through," said Chatham-Kent police Insp. Tim Mifflin.

Mifflin couldn't estimate how long it will be before Fulkerson is back in Canada.

If she's still in the U.S. until Jan. 23, she will have a "status hearing" to update her case, the U.S. Marshals office said.

Her miffed American boss, Dennis M. Hope, who runs his moon land sales company, Lunar Embassy, a few hours from Las Vegas in Gardnerville, Nev., said he's also about to file paperwork -- a $1.2-million US lawsuit against Fulkerson for failing to make payments on properties he sold her.

He said yesterday he had met Fulkerson twice in Vegas before her disappearance to discuss business. Both meetings were at Caesar's Palace and both times they gambled.

"She loves to gamble," he said. "I don't know if she has a gambling problem. I know that she likes the table," he said.

Fulkerson was spotted last week by a stung investor from Chatham, who saw her working at the Grand Canal shops in a shopping mall adjacent to the Aladdin Casino.

Fulkerson, the Chatham and District Chamber of Commerce entrepreneur of the year in 2001, was believed to have fled Canada last fall with her husband Rod and two daughters.

She failed to make a court appearance in November when she was expected to plead guilty to theft and fraud charges involving the Bank of Nova Scotia and more than $600,000.

More charges, including four counts of breach of recognizance, one charge of assault, one count of uttering a forged document and one of using counterfeit documents, were laid after she disappeared.

She owned the Moon Land Registry, selling plots of the moon, an Internet company and a gift shop.

There are allegations she lured investors into the companies with promises of large returns. Now, there are whispers of losses in the millions.

Hope said he was at home when he received a call that Fulkerson had been found.

"I said, 'Thank God.' I'm so glad this has happened because now we can start putting the pieces back together."

Hope said it was likely Fulkerson was able to get employment from a small company that would not be doing background checks.

"Unless you're a major company where you have a lot of liability, they just don't check. So it was probably easy for her to get a job," he said.

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