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Michigan nonprofit director charged with fraud

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2024 | White Collar Crimes |

A Michigan woman who served as the director of a nonprofit organization that provided housing services to low-income Detroit residents is facing a raft of federal charges including multiple counts of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering. The 60-year-old Detroit resident was taken into custody on Feb. 28. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan announced the arrest and charges in a press release. Three other individuals were named in the press release, but they have not been charged.

Fraudulent quitclaim deeds

Federal prosecutors claim the woman targeted low-income Wayne County homeowners who were facing foreclosure. She is accused of filing fraudulent quitclaim deeds that transferred the ownership of more than 30 properties. These properties were then sold to third parties who were not aware of the scheme according to prosecutors. The woman is also alleged to have used fake driver’s licenses and other documents to stop pending foreclosures.

Suspicious property transactions

The investigation into the woman’s alleged white-collar crimes was launched when the Wayne County Register of Deeds received multiple complaints about suspicious property transactions. Investigators are said to have discovered that the proceeds from these transactions were sent by wire transfer to a real estate company owned by the woman. The funds were then transferred to the woman’s personal bank account according to investigators. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Detroit Police Department.

Plea agreements

The penalties for white-collar crimes like fraud and money laundering are severe, but few people accused of committing them receive the maximum sentences allowed by law. That is because the defendants usually plead guilty in return for more lenient treatment.