Federal criminal charges were recently filed against a former prosecutor in Macomb County. Reportedly, the defendant plans to plead guilty to white collar crimes charges of federal obstruction of justice. The charges arose from the former Michigan prosecutor’s attempts to cover up the theft of $70,000.
According to court documents, the defendant used $70,000 of campaign funds for personal enrichment, and he then sought to have assistant prosecutors help to conceal the theft. It is alleged that the former prosecutor asked one underling to create documents to substantiate a phony $20,000 payment for consulting fees as a part of campaign expenses. Furthermore, the underling was directed to conceal the truth about $50,000 in rent payments, while the funds were directed to the defendant’s account.
The second assistant was then allegedly directed to declare that he had obtained evidence to confirm that the other assistant prosecutor was justified to use the campaign funds to make the fake rent payments. According to the plea agreement, the defendant allowed the first underling to keep $5,000 of the $20,000 bogus consulting fees. The balance allegedly went into the pocket of the defendant.
No details were made available about any plea agreement, and the proceedings will now move to the sentencing phase. Others in Michigan who are under investigation or charged with white collar crimes will be best advised to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney at the earliest opportunity. Legal counsel can protect the rights of the defendant at every stage of the criminal proceedings, including the negotiation of a formal plea agreement when appropriate.