You’d think after that 1994 experience, Schulte would avoid another prison term at any cost, but today he is incarcerated at Orient Correctional Reception Center near Columbus awaiting assignment to a state prison where he will serve an 18-month sentence for felony stalking of Judy Stout, an Oregon resident.
According to prison regulations, Schulte is unavailable for comment for 90 days, but he says plenty in a riveting new book Justice Denied written by Doris Clinton, a Toledo author.
Schulte was a rising star some 20 years ago. He was an intelligent, charismatic, successful stockbroker who served as president of the Eastwood school board and ran for the Ohio House of Representatives.
Enter Marty Frankel.
Frankel would go on to become one of America’s most notorious conmen, convicted of looting insurance companies in Mississippi and Tennessee of more than $200 million. He is serving a 16-year prison sentence. But, in 1985, he worked for Schulte at his Woodville Road brokerage firm.
Schulte fired Frankel for lack of productivity and blamed him for stealing his wife, Sonia (Howe). In their messy divorce, she allegedly stole $10,000 from their bank account and accused Schulte of spousal abuse, sexual abuse of their four-year-old daughter, and trading irregularities.
The spousal abuse charges were dismissed for lack of evidence. And, in 1993 Schulte was found not guilty of sexual abuse. The judge called the allegations a “house of cards.”
Schulte later sued Howe for the $10,000 and won. Then he sued Frankel and Howe for $36 million and won. He claimed in the latter lawsuit Howe and Frankel conspired to put him in a “false light, caused a loss of clients, a criminal investigation, and caused him great embarrassment and upset, and to a significant degree, led to the loss of his securities license and his imprisonment.”
Howe, who pled guilty to racketeering charges in 2002, was handed a four-year prison term for her role in the insurance scam.
In Justice Denied, Schulte calls Frankel the “devil incarnate.” He states, “This monster caused me to lose my wife, my children, my home, my business, along with everything that was important to me.”
One version of the truth
Justice Denied is Schulte’s effort to tell his side of a nightmare that has been told by others, his version of the truth.
On the book’s cover are the words, “Not guilty. Found Innocent of all charges…But it is still…Justice Denied.” In a news release from Xlibris, the publisher, the headline proclaims, “New book tells the true story of an innocent man who served time for a crime he didn’t commit.”
Well, that’s just plain not true no matter if Schulte believes it. He was convicted in 1994 of bilking six investors of nearly $116,000. To his credit, Schulte made restitution, but the fact remains he stole money and is still rationalizing it today. He states in the book, “What is so ridiculous is, I was sentenced to time in prison for the crime of using other people’s money to defend myself for a crime I did not do. Justice denied!”
Two insights into Schulte’s personality struck me as I read Clinton’s book. He’s obsessed with winning and with control. He constantly mulls over the question of who’ll win—Howe or him. And, he talks about his dreams in win or lose terms. For instance, “I hope to win at real estate,” and “I know how screwed up the system is, so I must run for political office and win!”
The second insight concerns controlling ex-girlfriend Judy Stout who stood by him and drove from here to Pennsylvania numerous times to visit. Twice, after visiting hours, she went out with other visiting wives, once to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Schulte writes, “That was not good, I wish she had not gone out with them, I am losing faith in her.”
These obsessions led Schulte to his most recent trouble when he appeared in Oregon Municipal Court for violation of a protection order arising from the Stout case. Ironically, it was the act of trying to give Stout a copy of Justice Denied while both were in the courtroom in front of court officials that tipped the scales of justice against him. In his June 10th testimony, Schulte said he passed Stout the book because she was concerned about what Clinton had written about her. Schulte wanted her to know “her fears could be put aside.” This act may seem benign, but Judge Jeff Keller thought otherwise. He found him guilty, of violating the protection order stating he was to have “no contact” with Stout. None.
Besides, this was not the first time Schulte had disregarded court orders to leave Stout alone. Court and police records in Oregon and Wood County show Schulte made hundreds of phone calls to the victim’s cell and work phones, left post-it notes on her windows and a letter stating “Don’t testify” in her newspaper box. In one incident when an Oregon patrolman was taking a harassment report in November of 2003, the victim’s cell phone rang six or seven times with all calls coming from Schulte’s phone.
Behavior is not new
The pattern is an old one. Sonia Howe reported she also received a barrage of calls and postcards and a former employee at a carryout Schulte owned in Stony Ridge filed a petition with the Wood County Court seeking a protection order. She claimed that after she quit work, Schulte called her 54 times one day and 80 times another day.
This April, Judge Richard Knepper of the Wood County Common Pleas Court found Schulte guilty of felony stalking and misdemeanor telephone harassment for his actions against Stout. After the protection order was violated, he sentenced Schulte to 18 months.
John Schulte is 52. He is a tragic figure beset by false accusations and his own poor decisions. And, you can feel the pain he felt when his many efforts to establish visitation with his daughters were illegally thwarted. But, he has made his life worse by his reactions.
Doris (Ruswinkle) Clinton grew up in Luckey. She has written for the true confession magazines and that style is evident here. She gets Schulte to bare his deepest emotions and thoughts. If you’ve followed the Schulte-Howe-Frankel saga, you’ll find the book compelling and disturbing. And, if you’re a father, you will cry when you read the letter sent him by one of his daughters, now entering college. In part it reads, “My mom will be in my life forever. You don’t even try to be in my life or care about me, all you do is try to get revenge on my mom and you haven’t stopped in my entire life…so give it up already. It is so pathetic…Move on and focus your life on something other than revenge. It makes me sick!!!! This is how I feel. I have tried to be nice to you but you say stuff about my mom and that hurts me…so since you have nothing nice to say and you don’t care about me, stop talking to me.”