Schuette Encourages Michigan Residents to Register for Consumer Education Programs
The Department of Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division offers a variety of seminars focused on keeping Michigan consumers safe and up-to-date on the tricks criminals are using to steal from consumers.
Programs on the following topics are available: Investment Fraud, Identity Theft, Online Safety, Home Repair and Improvement, Phone, Mail and e-Scams and In-Home Care and Senior Residences. The details of each event as well as an event calendar are listed on the Department of Attorney General website. All events are free and open to the public. To attend residents are asked to contact the venue to RSVP prior to the seminar. You can also request a Consumer Protection Education Presentation in your community by submitting an online request form.
To register your site for a presentation please complete the online registration form.
- Schuette Statement on Retirement of Chief Deputy Attorney General Carol Isaacs
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced the retirement of Chief Deputy Attorney General Carol Isaacs, effective December 31, 2016. Isaacs has served as the Chief Deputy Attorney General since Schuette was elected in in 2010. Previously, she served as Chief Deputy Attorney General for Attorney General Mike Cox, an advisor and counsel to the Michigan Senate and in the Executive branch as advisor to Governor Engler and Senior Deputy of Legal Affairs and Policy Development for the Michigan Department of Community Health. Isaacs is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
“Carol's keen understanding of state government and the intricacies of the Michigan Legislature made her the ideal choice as Chief Deputy Attorney General during my service as Attorney General. Each and every day Carol Isaacs has been "On Duty" for the citizens of Michigan. Carol has been a tireless worker and a consummate professional as Chief Deputy Attorney General. Carol's husband Fred and her children and grandchildren will be the beneficiaries of her new journey. She is a dear friend. Both Cynthia and I will miss her very much. I am certain that everyone in the Department of Attorney General will miss her and her leadership as well.”
- Schuette, Spaniola Get Conviction of Sean Phillips in 'Baby Kate' Case
LANSING - Attorney General Bill Schuette and Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola today announced that a Mason County jury has convicted Sean Phillips, 25, of Scottville, father of Katherine Phillips, the Mason County infant missing and known as "Baby Kate," of second-degree murder. A second-degree murder conviction could carry a sentence of life or any term of years in prison.
This conviction follows a joint prosecution and multi-jurisdictional investigation by local, state and federal authorities.
"Today’s conviction is a measure of justice for a child who will never grow up and a family that has been ripped apart by her murder," said Schuette.
Schuette and Spaniola filed one murder charge against Sean Phillips in Ludington's 79th District Court on October 4, 2013. The charge alleged that Sean Phillips murdered his daughter, Katherine 'Kate' Phillips on June 29, 2011. By definition, an Open Murder charge allows jurors to determine the level of the defendant's culpability.
"I'd like to thank Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola, Chief Mark Barnett, Sheriff Kim Cole, the Michigan State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for providing their assistance in this trial and prior investigation," said Schuette.
Since August 2012, Attorney General Schuette's Appellate Division has represented Mason County in opposing Sean Phillips' appeal of his April 2012 conviction for the unlawful imprisonment of his daughter, Katherine Phillips. Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola secured the conviction, resulting in a 10-15 year prison sentence for Phillips. Phillips later appealed.
Mason County is one of the 56 Michigan counties the Department of Attorney General represents by defending criminal convictions before the Michigan Court of Appeals.
- Schuette Urges Michigan Residents to Take a Stand During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today recognized National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and asked Michigan to “take a stand” against the issue with him.
“Domestic Violence can often be a crime of silence. Victims can be scared to report their romantic partner or believe that it was a one time incident,” said Schuette. “As a husband and father it is heartbreaking to think of this occurring every day in our state. I am committed to taking a stand and raising awareness about signs of domestic violence and the resources to help those who don’t know how to get out of the harmful cycle of domestic violence.”
In honor of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) has issued a call to action asking people to take a stand against the horrific crime of domestic violence.
Domestic Violence in Michigan
Physical violence, sexual violence, threats and emotional abuse are all types of domestic violence. NCADV statistics on Domestic Violence in Michigan include:
- One a single day in 2014, domestic violence programs in Michigan provided services to 2,492 domestic violence victims and survivors.
- In 2009, over 100,000 incidents of domestic violence were reported to police across the state. This does not include the many cases of domestic violence that went unreported.
- Over half of domestic violence homicides in Michigan are committed using guns.
Who Do I Call To Report Suspected Domestic Violence?
If you are a victim or know someone who is a victim of domestic violence, help is available. Call your local police, Statewide Domestic Violence Linkline at 1-800-897-LINK, the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.
Michigan Domestic Violence Programs
Michigan.gov has a website that allows victims of Domestic Violence to find services in their area as quickly and safely as possible. The website allows someone to easily find services based on county or region.
- Schuette Highlights OK2SAY during National Bullying Prevention Month
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today recognized October as National Bullying Prevention Month with a reminder to both students and their parents about the OK2SAY program and how it can be used to help address bullying in schools and online.
“Many kids experience bullying every single day. And when it occurs on social media, kids feel like they can’t escape it whether at school or home,” said Schuette. “OK2SAY provides a safe and confidential way for students to report bullying without feeling like they will be labeled a snitch.”
About the OK2SAY Program
OK2SAY is a student safety initiative that acts as an early warning system in Michigan schools to prevent tragedies before they occur. Launched in 2014, the program encourages students to submit confidential tips to trained technicians regarding potential harm or threats 24/7.
Through the more than 2,100 tips received in 2015, OK2SAY has saved lives, prevented school violence, and provided help to many Michigan students in need of mental health or social services. In 2015, OK2SAY technicians received 536 tips on bullying; 252 tips on cyberbullying; 23 tips regarding planned school attacks; 7 tips regarding guns; and 396 tips regarding suicide threats.
The OK2SAY website offers resources for parents and students on a variety of issues including bullying. For students, the information includes what do if you are being bullied, and for parents, it includes how talk to your kids if you suspect they are being bullied.
Schuette also encourages both parents and students to visit www.stopbullying.gov for even more resources.
“Together we can stop bullying in Michigan,” said Schuette. “OK2SAY is making strides to help kids have a safe way to say something; but we cannot rest until all Michigan students are free from the fear of being bullied.”
How to Submit an OK2SAY Tip
OK2SAY encourages confidential tips on criminal activities or potential harm directed at students, school employees, and schools. Tips can be submitted through the following ways:
Call: 8-555-OK2SAY, 855-565-2729
Text: 652729 (OK2SAY)
- Sterling Heights Man Pleads Guilty to 10 Counts of Possession of Child Pornography
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced John Cafarelli, of Sterling Heights, plead guilty to 10 Counts of Possession of Child Sexually Abusive Materials, four year felonies. Cafarelli, 54, was charged with possession of child sexually abusive materials after the Michigan Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) taskforce executed a warrant on his home in June 2014. The case was then referred to the Attorney General for prosecution.
“The downloading and possession of child pornography is a despicable crime,” said Schuette. “The possession of child pornography is a serious crime and is a continued victimization of these helpless children. Not only are the children in these images victimized when these horrific images are produced, they are then re-victimized every time someone shares the pictures or looks at them. I am glad that the conclusion of this case means another child predator is brought to justice.”
Cafarelli plead guilty Wednesday, October 12, 2016, before the Hon. James Maceroni in Macomb County Circuit Court. He is scheduled to be sentenced on November 30, 2016.
In 2014 an undercover investigation by the ICAC into the internet sharing of child pornography lead to an IP address that belonged to Cafarelli. A search warrant was first issued for the owner of the IP address. It was determined that it belonged to Cafarelli, at which point a search warrant of his home was issued. When the search warrant was executed Cafarelli answered the door partially clothed and child pornography was actively running on his computer. As a result of the warrant a desktop computer was seized from Cafarelli’s bedroom. Upon forensic review, numerous images of child sexually abusive materials were found on Cafarelli’s personal computer. As that computer was determined to be solely used by Cafarelli, he was charged with possession of child sexually abusive materials.
Michigan Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force
The ICAC task force comprises more than 50 state, local and federal law enforcement agencies to investigate offenders who use the computer and internet to sexually exploit children.