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Wayne County Attorney to Stand Trial for Embezzling from Vulnerable Adult and Conducting Criminal Enterprise

LANSING David P. Sutherland will stand trial for embezzling millions from his client and faces a new charge for embezzling from another, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced today.

Sutherland, of Grosse Pointe Farms, appeared before the Grosse Pointe Farms Municipal Court, Wayne County on June 5, 2023, for a preliminary examination. After hearing from six witnesses, the Court found sufficient evidence to bind Sutherland over on all 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 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 from both her revocable and irrevocable trusts, and her personally.

Immediately following the hearing, the Court also arraigned Sutherland on a new charge of Embezzlement of $100,000 or more from another client, the William Cardinal Trust.

Handling a client’s finances with integrity and thoughtful consideration is one of the most important responsibilities of a trustee,” said Nessel. When the trustee’s actions serve to enrich themselves at the expense of their client, my Financial Crimes Division will intervene.”

A circuit court arraignment on the Valade matter is set for June 26, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. A probable cause conference on the Cardinal matter is scheduled for July 26, 2023, at 12:30 p.m.


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

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