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  • Schuette Reminds Residents of Ways to File Consumer Complaints

    Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is reminding residents of the consumer complaint process. Complaints may be submitted three ways.

    1. Online by filling out a Online Consumer Complaint/Inquiry

    2. By mail to:

      Consumer Protection Division
      P.O. Box 30213
      Lansing, MI 48909-7713

    3. By fax: 517-241-3771

    Before submitting a complaint, remember to check the Complaint Directory to ensure your complaint is filed correctly as to avoid unnecessary delays.

    For detailed instructions on what to include when filing a complaint visit the Consumer Complaint Directory section of the website.

    If you have any questions, please call the Consumer Protection Division Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM at 517-373-1140 or toll free 877-765-8388.



RECENT NEWS

Press Releases
Schuette: Macomb County Man Facing Trial on Human Trafficking Charges

March 23, 2017

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced that Tremaine Woodall 19, of Warren, was bound over for trial on Wednesday, March 22, four felony charges related to his operation of a human trafficking operation.

Woodall is charged with two felony count of Minor Sex Trafficking and two felony count of pandering. All are punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

“For years, human trafficking was viewed as a crime that happens ‘somewhere else.’ But as hard as it is to stomach, human trafficking happens in Michigan every single day,” said Schuette. “I want to applaud my human trafficking division for their unending dedication to finding justice for the victims of these horrific crimes.”

Woodall was arraigned in January on the charges. He is currently in Macomb County jail. He was bound over for trial on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 by Judge Michael Chupa in the 37th District Court in Macomb County. His next court date is set for April 3, 2017 in Macomb Circuit Court.

Case Background

Charges were filed against Woodall after the Southeast Michigan Trafficking and Exploitation Crimes (SEMTEC) task force received a tip about an alleged minor being prostituted out of a Macomb County hotel on January 18, 2017. An investigation by SEMTEC immediately ensued.

The tip resulted in the arrest of Woodall who was with an alleged 17 year-old human trafficking victim at the hotel when found by SEMTEC. Agents also found a backpage post from January 18, 2017 which allegedly featured the victim. It is alleged that Woodall took the photos for and made the posting on the site. Agents also identified the second alleged victim during their investigation.

A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Protecting Victims, Stopping Trafficking in Michigan

Created by reallocating resources in the Attorney General's Criminal Division, Schuette's Human Trafficking Unit has placed an increased focus on combating human trafficking in Michigan, a priority Schuette identified upon taking office. The unit works closely with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to uncover and prosecute cases of modern-day slavery involving both children and adults.

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Schuette Releases 2016 Human Trafficking Commission Report, Praises House for Passage of Commission-Recommended Human Trafficking Legislation

March 22, 2017

LANSING – The 2016 Michigan Human Trafficking Commission Report landed on the desks of Michigan lawmakers today, just as legislation recommended by the Commission unanimously passed the Michigan House.

The report highlights the work completed and the ongoing work by the Commission, including:

  • State-wide Human Trafficking Conference (September 2016)

  • Working with medical societies to develop a comprehensive training video for health care professionals to use to identify human trafficking victims

  • Reviewing state law and policies to make legislative recommendations

Schuette also thanked State Representative Bronna Kahle for her introduction of House Bill 4219, legislation recommended by the Michigan Human Trafficking Commission. If passed by the Senate and signed by the Governor, victims of human trafficking would have the ability to have a prostitution-related offense that they were forced to commit removed from their criminal record, even if the individual had a prior conviction for such an offense.

“Victims of human trafficking deserve a fresh start after the terrifying ordeal they have gone through,” said Schuette. “Being forced into prostitution through fraud or coercion is traumatic, and piecing together a life afterward can be complicated by past criminal charges. My hope is that this legislation becomes law and helps a victim set their record straight, and allows them to secure a job or continue their education.”

The next meeting of the Michigan Human Trafficking Commission is scheduled for May 3, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. at the G. Mennen Williams Building in Lansing.

Protecting Victims, Stopping Trafficking in Michigan

Created by reallocating resources in the Attorney General's Criminal Division, Schuette's Human Trafficking Unit has placed an increased focus on combating human trafficking in Michigan, a priority Schuette identified upon taking office. The unit works closely with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to uncover and prosecute cases of modern-day slavery involving both children and adults.

Recent Human Trafficking Convictions in Michigan

On March 9, 2017, Jonathon Colon, of Bronx, New York, pleaded guilty to one count of Human Trafficking, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced on March 30, 2017.

In April of 2016, Jahan Satati Green, 38, of Inkster, was sentenced to 20-40 years in prison following his conviction on five felonies for running a prostitution ring across Oakland, Macomb and Wayne Counties. He was arrested by Schuette’s Human Trafficking Unit in June 2015 after an extensive investigation conducted by the Department of Homeland Security.

For more information, please visit the Attorney General’s human trafficking webpage.

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Schuette Thanks Senator Judy Emmons for Support of Continued OK2SAY Funding

March 22, 2017

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today thanked Michigan State Senator Judy Emmons for her legislation to continue funding Michigan’s school safety initiative, OK2SAY.

“I greatly appreciate Senator Emmons and the bill she introduced today; she is taking a big step to help Michigan students feel safe in the classroom and the hallways. Across Michigan, students are submitting tips to OK2SAY by texting, calling or using the OK2SAY app to report when they feel unsafe, or when they see a friend or classmate being bullied or in trouble. With continued funding, Michigan kids will continue to have a place to turn for help.”

OK2SAY: Helping Michigan Kids Stay Safe

OK2SAY is the student safety program that allows students to confidentially report tips to trained technicians on potential harm or criminal activities directed at school students, school employees, or schools. A partnership between the Department of Attorney General and Michigan State Police, OK2SAY empowers students to break the code of silence, step up, speak out, and get help before a situation turns into a tragedy.

In 2016, OK2SAY received 3,359 tips — up nearly 55% from 2015. Tips were received in 29 of 30 tip categories including:

  • 800 tips on bullying;
  • 569 tips on suicide threats;
  • 480 tips in the other category, which covers a multitude of tips from depression to discrimination;
  • 307 tips on self-harm; and
  • 279 tips on cyberbullying.

OK2SAY has already received almost 700 tips in the first two months of 2017. Technicians received 275 tips in January and 416 tips in February. For more information about the program, please visit the OK2SAY website.

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Schuette: Flint Man Pleads Guilty to Returning More Than $10,000 in Non-Returnable Cans and Bottles

March 22, 2017

LANSING –Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced John Custer Woodfill, 70, of Flint, has pleaded guilty to returning 10,000 or more out of state non-returnable beverage containers.

Woodfill entered his guilty plea before Judge Joseph J. Farah in the Genesee County 7th Circuit Court in Flint on Monday, March 20, 2017.

“This was not a one-time nickel-and-dime case,” said Schuette. “This man orchestrated bogus refunds for tens of thousands of non-returnable beverage containers.  In effect he stole from Michigan’s bottle return program that has long served to protect and promote a healthy environment.  His actions also negatively affected distributors, merchants and even consumers who carry much of the burden in making the program work.”

Schuette also thanked the Department of Treasury and Michigan State Police for their assistance on this case. 

Case Background

An informant alerted the Michigan State Police to Woodfill’s operation.  They discovered that from April 2012 to April 2015 Woodfill bought uncrushed non-returnable cans in the state of Indiana as scrap, and immediately began returning them to Michigan to redeem with the help of a partner who is now deceased.  The partner relocated to Brownstown, Indiana, where he operated a beverage can “recycling” outfit, buying locally non-refundable pop and beer cans for 60-80 cents a pound. Those non-returnables were trailered back to Flint by Woodfill where he developed a system of return throughout lower Michigan in order to take advantage of our state’s refund law on deposits. 

For some of the out-of-state mismarked cans Woodfill created phony labels to give the appearance of a proper bar code for the automatic return machines. Those labels were then affixed to the containers and returned in can machines for the 10 cent deposit.

As part of his plea the van and trailer he used have been forfeited, and he owes $400,000 in restitution to the state.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday, May 2, 2017.

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Schuette Charges Two Kent County Women with Vulnerable Adult Abuse, Falsifying Medical Records in Death of 85-year-old Kent County Nursing Home Resident

March 22, 2017

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced felony charges against Yahira Zamora, 21, of Wyoming, and Denise Filcek, 45, of Wayland, for their alleged roles in the death of an 85-year-old female resident of Crystal Springs Assisted Living Center in Grand Rapids. Zamora and Filcek were working the night of October 26-27, 2016 when the victim exited the facility and became stranded outdoors in near-freezing temperatures and rain, leading to her death.

“Placing a parent or family member in an assisted living facility is never an easy choice and we hope that if we can’t be with our loved ones, those entrusted with their lives care as much as we do,” said Schuette. “The allegations in this case are terrifying for anyone who may be considering placing their loved one in a care facility. I take seriously any report of alleged misconduct, and will do everything I can to make sure the Greatest Generation is treated with the respect they deserve.”

Defendants and Background

Zamora has been charged with second-degree vulnerable adult abuse, a felony that carries up to four years in prison or a fine of $5,000. On the night in question, Zamora allegedly reset an alarmed door designed to keep residents, some of whom have advanced dementia, in the facility. She allegedly did so without determining whether any residents had exited the facility. The victim was found deceased outdoors on facility grounds several hours later.

Filcek has been charged with one felony count of intentional inclusion of misleading or inaccurate information in a medical chart, punishable by up to four years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine, for falsely recording the whereabouts of facility residents. Filcek was responsible for visual bed checks on all patients every thirty minutes, including accounting for the location of the victim. However, Filcek allegedly failed to check on the patients, instead checking off the boxes indicating she had without ever having done so.

Arraignments and Next Court Dates

The defendants are expected to be arraigned on Thursday, March 23, 2017 in the 63rd District Court in Kent County.   

A charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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