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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 Charges Gymnastics Doctor Larry Nassar with Sexual Abuse of Female Athletes

Ingham County Affidavit

Eaton County Affidavit

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today charged former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University physician Lawrence G. Nassar with 22 additional counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct First Degree, a felony punishable by up to life in prison for each charge. 

The charges filed today are a result of Nassar, 53, of Holt, allegedly sexually abusing young female athletes under the guise of medical treatment in both his home treatment room and in medical settings, including at the MSU Sports Medicine Clinic and Twistars Gymnastics Club.

Five of the charges are related to the victims being under the age of 13 at the time of the alleged assault. The remaining 17 are a result of Nassar taking advantage of his position of authority to commit the alleged sexual assaults.

“Dr. Nassar preyed on these young girls, he used his status and authority to engage in horrid sexual assaults under the guise of medical procedures. He violated the oath that every doctor takes to do no harm,” said Schuette. “The girls abused by Dr. Nassar were so young, so innocent that they didn’t fully understand what Nassar was doing to them until many years later.  We have a duty to protect our children, and that’s what we are doing today.”

Schuette’s office is the prosecuting agency, with the Michigan State University Police Department conducting the investigation.

“The allegations of sexual assault against Dr. Nassar continue to increase nearly every day, and we remain constantly in contact with the victims as we move forward,” said Michigan State University Police Chief Jim Dunlap. “Our priority is getting justice for the survivors and we are determined to make certain that occurs. I encourage anyone who may have been a victim of Larry Nassar to come forward by contacting the MSU Police Department.” 

“I would like to thank the Michigan State University Police Department for their hard work on the investigation of the sexual assaults allegedly committed by Mr. Nassar,” Schuette added. “The professionalism shown by Chief Dunlap and Det. Sgt. Munford is exactly what the victims in this case need to ensure their stories are told.”

Charges in Two Counties

The charges were filed in Ingham County’s 55th District Court and Eaton County’s 56A District Court and include:

  •            5 Counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct, 1st Degree (Felony, 25-year mandatory minimum, up to life in   prison): Sexual penetration of another person under the following circumstance: victim is under the age of 13.
  •           17 Counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct, 1st Degree (Felony, life offense): Sexual penetration of a victim between the ages of 13-16 and the alleged assailant is in a position of authority over the victim and used this authority to coerce the victim to submit; or when the actor causes personal injury to the victim and engages in the medical treatment or examination of the victim in a manner or for purposes that are medically recognized as unethical or unacceptable.

Nassar will be arraigned on Thursday, February 23 at the 55th District Court at 10:00 a.m. and via video arraignment for 56A District Court at 1:00 p.m.

Schuette strongly encourages others who may have been a victim or have relevant information regarding Nassar to contact the investigative team at 844-99-MSUPD.

Case Background

The first publicized abuse allegations against Nassar were made in September 2016 by two former gymnasts in an Indianapolis newspaper. MSU Police Department received its first complaint against Nassar in August 2016.

Following the published news story the MSU Police received multiple other complaints alleging abuse by Nassar.  In October 2016, the MSU Police Chief James Dunlap brought forward a recommendation for charges to the Michigan Attorney General’s office.

The Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Agency has suspended Nassar’s medical license as of January 2017.

Previous Charges for Nassar

Schuette’s initial round of charges for Nassar took place in November of 2016 and were not related to a child involved in athletics. Nassar had a preliminary exam for these charges on February 17, 2017, where Judge Donald Allen bound the case over to Circuit Court for trial. 

Nassar was charged by the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan on December 19, 2016 for possession of child pornography. The allegations in the federal indictment state that Nassar received and attempted to receive child pornography in 2004, and that he possessed thousands of images of child pornography between February of 2003 and September of 2016. If convicted of both of these charges, Nassar faces a mandatory minimum of five years’ imprisonment and up to 40 years of imprisonment, and up to lifetime supervised release after release from custody.  Nassar also faces federal charges of destruction of evidence after it was alleged that he attempted to destroy the hard drive on which he was storing the pornographic images of children.

Attorney General Cold Case Sexual Assault Project

The case is being prosecuted by the Attorney General Cold Case Sexual Assault Project.  The project is funded by a United States Department of Justice grant awarded by the Office of Violence Against Women, to combat intimate relationship violence.  The grant is administered by the Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board and will be prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Angela Povilaitis and Robyn Liddell.

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

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Schuette: Former State Rep. Brian Banks Sentenced on Charge of Filing False Financial Statements

February 17, 2017

 

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced that former State Rep. Brian Banks, of Harper Woods, was sentenced to one day in jail - time served. Banks pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of filing financial false statements on February 6, 2017. 

“Former Rep. Banks pleaded guilty, admitting he did indeed commit the crime for which he was sentenced,” said Schuette. “I am pleased to see this case come to a close and that the residents of his district have the chance to get an honest, hardworking and law-abiding representative.”

Schuette first charged Banks, 40, with four criminal charges related to falsifying documents to obtain a loan from a Detroit-area credit union in June of 2016.

On February 6, 2017 Banks submitted a letter of resignation to House Speaker Tom Leonard. The resignation was effective immediately. Following his resignation, a plea agreement was presented to Banks that resulted in the felony charges being dropped. 

Case Background

The Department of Attorney General filed felony charges against Banks in June 2016. The charges stemmed from Banks’ application for a $7,500 loan using pay statements from his alleged employer, IHI Attorneys + Consultants of Farmington. Banks claimed to work for the company, but through the course of the investigation, it was discovered that he had never worked at or with IHI Attorneys + Consultants, and the check issued originated with a payroll company the firm never used.

A special election to fill the House Seat left open by Banks has been scheduled for August.

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Schuette Statement on Nassar Case being Bound Over For Trial

February 17, 2017

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today released the following statement on the Nassar case being bound over for trial:

“I am grateful for the dedication of the Michigan State University Police Department and the prosecutors in the Department of Attorney General for their continued hard work on this case. I admire the courage of the young woman who had to relive her terrifying experience and I am grateful that Judge Allen bound over Dr. Nassar on these extremely serious charges.”

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Florida Charity to Pay Over $100k to Breast Cancer Research, and is Banned from Soliciting in Michigan for Ten Years Due to Deceptive Fundraising

LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced a settlement with Florida nonprofit Breast Cancer Outreach Foundation, Inc. The settlement resolves the Attorney General’s claims that, in 2015, the group deceptively raised $1.4 million nationwide, including at least $36,372 in Michigan. The group’s solicitations told donors that funds raised would be used for breast cancer research grants. In reality, all the money raised, except for one $8,235 grant, went to professional fundraisers and other expenses—not breast cancer research.

“In recent years, my office has combatted deceptive solicitations for cancer, veterans, firefighters, and police. It’s sad to see these causes exploited,” said Schuette. “Donors should remain vigilant during solicitations—especially regarding emotional appeals for sympathetic causes. And it bears repeating: research the charity before giving.”

In settlement, Breast Cancer Outreach Foundation will pay $150,000, with $125,000 paid for breast cancer research and the remaining $25,000 to recoup the State’s investigative costs. Breast Cancer Outreach Foundation will also withdraw its charitable solicitations registration and is banned from soliciting in Michigan for ten years.

Background

In January 2017, the Attorney General issued a Notice of Intended Action against Breast Cancer Outreach Foundation, alleging 14,542 civil violations of charitable solicitations fraud, with maximum penalties of $10,000 per violation. In 2015, Breast Cancer Outreach Foundation raised $1,425,201, telling donors that funds raised would be used for grants for breast cancer research in support of a breast cancer vaccine. However, the Foundation’s financials failed to disclose any breast cancer research grants in 2015. In response to the allegations, the Foundation amended its financials and documented one grant of $8,235 for breast cancer research. But all the other money Breast Cancer Outreach Foundation raised was used for other purposes: to pay its professional fundraisers, the company executive’s salary, or other expenses.

The Attorney General’s investigation into Breast Cancer Outreach Foundation stemmed from the Attorney General’s 2016 investigation into professional fundraiser Corporations for Character, an investigation which resulted in a monetary settlement and the fundraiser’s withdrawal from the state. Breast Cancer Outreach Foundation used Corporations for Character for some of its fundraising, a fact which led the Attorney General to scrutinize the charity’s own fundraising practices.

The Attorney General’s January Notice of Intended Action ordered Breast Cancer Outreach Foundation to cease and desist the alleged violations, giving them twenty-one days to resolve the matter or face a civil action in court. In addition, the Attorney General also issued Breast Cancer Outreach Foundation a Notice of Intent to deny its charitable solicitations registration.

Attorney General Resources for Charitable Giving

To assist individuals in making wise decisions regarding which charitable donations to support, Attorney General Schuette established an online searchable database for charities. The Attorney General also publishes an annual professional fundraising charitable solicitation report. Through these resources, users have access to information to aid them in determining which charities are worth supporting—and which are not. The Attorney General's Charitable Trust Section is also available at 517-373-1152 to answer inquiries about a charity.

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Schuette: Ingham County Court Room Attacker Pleads Guilty to Felony Charges

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced that Joshua Harding, 35, of Okemos, pleaded guilty to three felony charges related to his August 2016 courtroom attack on Ingham County Assistant Prosecutor Jonathan Roth.

Harding entered his plea before Judge William Collette in Ingham County Circuit Court on Monday, February 13, 2017. He pleaded guilty to the following:

  • Assault To Commit Murder, a felony punishable by up to life in prison;
  • Carrying A Concealed Weapon, a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison, and;
  • Possession of a Weapon in Jail, a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

An additional charge of terrorism was dismissed by the judge in January 2017.

Harding is scheduled to be sentenced on March 15, 2017.

“Prosecutors like Mr. Roth go to work every day and seek to provide justice for Michigan victims and Mr. Harding brazenly threatened his ability to do that,” said Schuette. “I am grateful that this case is growing closer to a close and want to once again commend the quick action of the officers involved in thwarting this attack, if not for their actions the result of this attack could have been much worse.”

Case Background

On August 2, 2016, just prior to a jury convicting Harding of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, he removed a shank from his shirt sleeve and rushed towards Assistant Prosecutor Roth attempting to stab him in the head in the middle of an open court room in downtown Lansing.

Harding was sentenced to at least 19 years in prison on September 21, 2016 on the Ingham County Criminal Sexual Conduct charge he was in court for at the time of the attack.

Harding was charged in the court room attack on September 22, 2016. He was charged as a Habitual Offender.

 

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