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  • Schuette: Flint Residents Should Be Aware Of Potential Water Crisis Scams


    Schuette’s Consumer Protection Division released a consumer alert to help Flint residents protect themselves, their families and neighbors by being aware of common scams attempted during crisis situations. The consumer alert offers tips on avoiding scam artists and criminals who may attempt to exploit emergency situations like the one in Flint.

    "The outpouring of support and volunteerism in Flint is a reassuring sign of the warmth and compassion Michiganders have for one another, especially during a crisis, and I strongly encourage those in need to seek help,” said Schuette.  “But, even in these times of generosity and need, we must be aware of the common scams that could further hurt Flint families and those attempting to assist them.  That can be done with a few simple steps before taking action.”

    Flint water tower

     



RECENT NEWS

Press Releases
Schuette Encourages Victims and Witnesses of Mistreatment in the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans to Contact His Office

May 25, 2016

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today encouraged people who have resided in the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans during the last several years, or who may have otherwise been witness to patient mistreatment, to come forward with information that could help his ongoing investigation into the treatment of patients in the facility.

Schuette confirmed that his Health Care Fraud Division has been conducting an investigation into allegations of improper care at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans since February 23, 2016. This followed the February 18, 2016 Michigan Auditor General report that indicated the facility was allegedly not properly taking care of the veterans residing in the home.

While the Department of Attorney General does not always confirm that investigations are ongoing, Schuette has made this investigation public in order to encourage those who may have been residing in the facility during the last several years, who may have been witness to or victims of mistreatment, to contact his office with information they may have. Mistreatment could be physical or financial in nature.

“The men and women who have served our country deserve the very best of care. They protected our country, and now we have the duty and responsibility to protect them,” said Schuette. “If you, or someone you know, were a resident of the Home, or spent time visiting and witnessed potentially criminal misconduct, I encourage you to contact my office immediately.”

The Grand Rapids Home for Veterans is one of two State of Michigan run homes for veterans.

Schuette encourages those with information about the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans to contact his Healthcare Fraud Division at 1-800-24-ABUSE.

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Schuette Announces Five Guilty Pleas in Motor City Casino Cheating Conspiracy Case

May 23, 2016

 

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced that five of the seven defendants charged in relation to a cheating conspiracy scheme at Motor City Casino have pleaded guilty.

The final two defendants, former casino dealer Darryl Green and Leah Smith, of Melvindale, are awaiting a pretrial hearing for their alleged roles in the scheme.

All seven are accused of taking part in a scheme to steal money from the casino involving hundreds of dollars of individual player payouts on lost bets during games of Texas Hold ‘em.

The five guilty pleas are as follows:

Roxanna Mckinney, 49, Farmington Hills:

  • Pled guilty to Attempted Gambling Activities (felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison).  Agreed to testify against codefendants. 
  • Scheduled for sentencing on 6-23-2016 in 3rd Circuit Court before Judge Chylinski.

Eugene Davis, Jr, 32, Detroit:

  • Pled guilty to Attempted Gambling Activities (felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison).  Agreed to testify against codefendants.
  • Scheduled for sentencing on 6-7-2016 in 3rd Circuit Court before Judge Chylinski.

Hayward Stampley, 57, West Bloomfield:

  • Pled guilty to Attempted Gambling Activities (felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison).  Agreed to testify against codefendants.
  • Scheduled for sentencing on 6-7-2016 in 3rd Circuit Court before Judge Chylinski.

Calvin Pullom, 47, Detroit:

  • Pled Guilty to Attempted Larceny in a Building (Misdemeanor punishable by up to 2 years in prison).  Agreed to testify against codefendants.
  • Scheduled for sentencing on 5-27-2016 in 3rd Circuit Court before Judge Chylinski.

Earl Railey, 65, Detroit:

  • Pled guilty to the four following charges as a habitual fourth offender:
    • One count of Conspiracy to Cheat at a Gambling Game, a five year felony;
    • One count of Gambling activities, a 10 year felony;
    • One count of Conspiracy to Commit Larceny in a building, a four year felony;One count of Larceny in a building, a four year felony.
  • Railey entered into a Cobb’s Agreement with Judge Chylinski for 18 months probation, 20 days in jail, and paying fines and court costs. A Cobb’s Agreement can only be requested by a defendant. It permits a defendant to request an initial report of what their sentence will likely be if they plead guilty.
  • Scheduled for sentencing on 6-24-2016 in 3rd Circuit Court before Judge Chylinski.

The remaining two defendants, Darryl Green, 53, of Detroit, and Leah Smith, 42, will next appear before Judge Richard Skutt in the Wayne County 3rd Circuit Court for a Calendar Conference on May 27, 2016.

They each face the following charges:

  • One count of Conspiracy to Cheat at a Gambling Game, a five year felony;
  • One count of Gambling activities, a 10 year felony;
  • One count of Conspiracy to Commit Larceny in a building, a four year felony;
  • One count of Larceny in a building, a four year felony.

Background on the Case

The charges were filed following an investigation by the Michigan State Police after they were asked by Motor City Casino to investigate possible dealer/player collusion. The felony complaints filed by Schuette allege that Darryl Green, who was employed as a dealer at Motor City Casino in 2014 when the alleged acts took place, conspired with the other six defendants to make payouts to them on losing bets or simply not collect payment on lost bets. The investigation showed the other six defendants in the case knew Green and associated with him outside of the casino prior to and after the alleged cheating.

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

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Schuette Issues Cease and Desist Order to Deceptive Metro Detroit Firefighter Fundraiser

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced his office has filed a Notice of Intended Action and Cease and Desist Order against Firefighters Support Services of Wyandotte, and its professional fundraiser, Associated Community Services of Southfield.

In the filing, Schuette alleges Firefighters Support Services’ charitable solicitations have included misleading, deceptive, or false statements in their solicitations.

“This is another example of a sympathetic cause—firefighters and those losing their homes from fire—being exploited by scammers,” Schuette said. He also cautioned donors: “The best defense against such scams is to do your homework or donate to a known charity. You don’t know who’s on the other end of the call or whether you can trust them.”

The solicitations inform call recipients that Firefighters Support Services helps firefighters get better equipment and helps “families that have been burned out of their homes by providing them with food, shelter, and clothing” or “financial support.”

During the period of these solicitations, Firefighters Support Services has raised $4.2 million from donors throughout the nation, yet was unable to identify any grants of food, shelter, or clothing to families that have been burned out of their homes. Firefighters Support Services was able to identify three grants totaling $5,586.06 to individuals—not families—for the purpose of fire loss relief. These grants represent one-tenth of one percent of the $4.2 million raised during this period.

The Notice of Intended Action orders Firefighters Support Services and its fundraiser Associated Community Services to cease and desist these misleading, deceptive, and false solicitations and advises Firefighters Support Services of the Attorney General’s intention to bring a civil action seeking redress, including restitution, injunctive relief, and civil fines of up to $10,000 per violation for every one of Firefighters Support Services’ more than two million violations.

The Notice of Intended Action also alleges that Firefighters Support Services has made numerous false statements on its annual financial statements that it files with both the IRS and the Attorney General. In particular, Firefighters Supports Services claims to run a blanket donation program for fire stations valued at roughly $500,000 per year. The value of the program, which is based on a valuation of $20.83 per blanket, is vastly overstated. In fact, the blankets were purchased by Congress, i.e., by taxpayers, for $4.97 per blanket with the purpose of combating homelessness. The per-blanket cost even includes free shipping to charities around the country that have been endorsed to participate in the program. Firefighters Support Services, which has not been endorsed to participate in the Congressional program, obtains the blankets from the charity World Assist and pays thousands of dollars per shipment to a third-party, Charity Services International, to ship the blankets to various fire stations around the country. Firefighters Support Services does not disclose this “charitable” program to donors. In reports to the IRS and the Attorney General, they described the activity as providing “medical supplies to various fire departments.”

Schuette also reminded that some telemarketers, such as Associated Community Services in the present case, keep 85% or more of each donation. Schuette encouraged donors to research their own charities and to give directly to the charity. For more information, see the Attorney General’s 2015 Professional Fundraising Charitable Solicitation Report.

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Schuette Applauds House Passage of Human Trafficking Legislation

May 19, 2016

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today applauded the Michigan House on the passage of a new human trafficking legislative package introduced by State Representatives Laura Cox (R-Livonia), Nancy Jenkins (R-Clayton) and Gary Howell (R-Lapeer) based on legislative recommendations from the Michigan Human Trafficking Commission.

“We must continue to do everything we can to help victims of this horrific crime move forward and reclaim their lives,” said Schuette. “A criminal record for a crime they had no choice in committing does not help them restart and I thank the House for their support of these bills and look forward to a smooth passage through the senate. Working together we can put an end to the horrific crime of human trafficking and with a focus on victims we can ensure they have a chance at the life they deserve.”

The three bill package includes:

HB 5542 (Cox): If signed into law, this bill will make it easier for victims of human trafficking to expunge local ordinance prostitution violations from human trafficking from their criminal record.

HB 5543 (Howell):  If signed into law, this bill will allow expungement of local ordinance prostitution violations of juveniles convicted of human trafficking related crimes.

HB 5544 (Jenkins): If signed into law, this bill will increase the penalty to 15 years for human trafficking involving commercial sex, also known as sex trafficking.

The bills now await consideration in the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

Background on Human Trafficking

Around the country, and right here in Michigan, children, women and men are forced into prostitution, domestic servitude and other labor for little or no pay, resulting from the use of force, fraud or coercion.

Demand for illegal activities such as paid sex fuels human trafficking, turning daughters and mothers into victims, permanently impacting the lives of those involved, their families and their loved ones.

Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery and it is the second-largest and fastest-growing criminal industry in the world.

Attorney General Schuette has made fighting this crime a priority by creating the first-ever human trafficking prosecution unit in his office and by helping create the Michigan Human Trafficking Commission.

The next two meetings of the Michigan Human Trafficking Commission will be on July 27 and November 2, 2016.

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

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Schuette: Man Convicted in Abandoned Detroit Rape Kit Case Gets up to 75 Years in Prison

May 16, 2016

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced that Alan Donnell Broadnax, 56, of Detroit, was today sentenced to 25-75 years in prison following his April conviction of 1st Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct. Broadnax was charged after the testing of the 11,000 abandoned sexual assault kits found in a Detroit warehouse connected him with the 2008 rape of an 18-year-old Wayne County woman.

It was the first case the Attorney General’s office has received as a result of the Wayne County Sexual Assault Kit Task Force, which is handling the abandoned evidence kits. Under the terms of the task force, the Wayne County Prosecutors office handles assaults that took place in Wayne County and the Attorney General handles assaults that occurred outside Wayne County.

“Today’s sentence ensures that the victim of this crime receives long overdue justice. This man thought he had gotten away with this crime, but this conviction shows once again that we hold people accountable for their crimes,” said Schuette.  “This is just the beginning of our work to prosecute the now-tested Wayne County Sexual Assault Kits. We are working to provide justice for the victims of sexual assault who have felt forgotten for so many years.”

Broadnax was sentenced as a Habitual Fourth Offender by Judge Daniel P. O’Brien in Oakland County’s 6th Circuit Court.  The judge is also requiring lifetime sex offender registry, and lifetime electronic monitoring. 

Case Background

The victim in this case, a Wayne County woman who was knocked unconscious by Broadnax and sexually assaulted at a Southfield home in Oakland County. After being forced to walk home, she immediately reported the rape to the Hamtramck police. Since the victim could not remember the exact address of the house where the alleged assault took place, her sexual assault kit ended up in the Detroit Police storage facility where it languished until the kits were discovered in 2009.

Mug shot of Broadnax

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