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Wayne County Man Accused of Stealing Millions from Client Arraigned

LANSING – A Wayne County lawyer turned himself in today and was charged with embezzling millions of dollars from his client, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced today.  

Attorney David P. Sutherland, 57, of Grosse Pointe Farms, appeared before Judge Charles T. Berschback in Grosse Pointe Farms Municipal Court, Wayne County on January 11, 2023, and was arraigned on the following charges

  • One count of Conducting a Criminal Enterprise, a 20-year felony;
  • Two counts of Embezzlement of $100,000 or more, 20-year felonies;
  • One count of Embezzlement from a Vulnerable Adult - $100,000 or more, a 20-year felony.

The judge ordered a $250,000 cash or surety bond, required Sutherland to surrender his passport and ordered that he be issued a GPS tether.

The Department of Attorney General alleges that Sutherland used his position as the personal attorney and trustee for the late Gretchen Carhartt Valade, of Grosse Pointe Farms, to embezzle millions of dollars from her irrevocable trust, by issuing himself a series of loans without Ms. Valade’s permission.

“Mr. Sutherland abused his authority as an attorney and trusted advisor to steal millions from a long-time client and must be held accountable,” said Nessel.  “Our elderly populations are particularly susceptible to financial exploitations, and my Financial Crimes Division is prepared to hold these bad actors accountable for such egregious and illegal violations of their client’s trust.”

A probable cause conference is scheduled for January 25, 2023, at 1 p.m.  

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Please note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The Department of Attorney General does not provide booking photos.