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Third Defendant Arraigned on Signature Collection Election Fraud Charges
June 29, 2023
LANSING – Today, Willie Reed turned himself in and was arraigned on felony charges stemming from allegations that he and two others defrauded the 2022 gubernatorial campaigns of Perry Johnson, James Craig, Donna Brandenburg, Michael Brown, and Michael Markey, as well as judicial candidates Tricia Dare, John Cahalan, and John Michael Malone. Reed and one other defendant are additionally charged with theft from the gubernatorial campaign of Ryan Kelley.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced in a press conference last week that Reed, the owner/operator of Petition Reeds LLC and co-owner of Mack Douglas LLC, was charged with the following:
- 1 count, Conducting a Criminal Enterprise, a 20-year felony;
- 8 counts, Election Law Forgery, a 5-year felony;
- 3 counts, False Pretenses, $100,000 or more, a 20-year felony;
- 2 counts, False Pretenses, $50,000 or more but less than $100,000, a 15-year felony;
- 3 counts, False Pretenses, $20,000 or more but less than $50,000, a 15-year felony;
- 8 counts, Use of a Computer to Commit a Crime, $20,000 or more, a 10-year felony;
- 1 count, Use of a Computer to Commit a Crime, $1,000 or more but less than $20,000, a 5-year felony; and
- 1 count, Larceny by Conversion, $1,000 or more but less than $20,000, a 5-year felony.
All nine campaigns contracted, directly or through intermediary consultants, with businesses owned and operated by Shawn Wilmoth and Reed for the fulfillment of their nomination signature requirements to appear on the August 2022 primary ballots. The State alleges the three defendants operated a criminal enterprise that charged the campaigns over $700,000 for valid signature collection, then knowingly delivered thousands of forged signatures on nomination petitions to eight of the campaigns. Seven of the candidates allegedly provided with fraudulent signatures were each disqualified from appearing on the ballot, one campaign withdrew. The defendants allegedly provided the Kelley campaign with no signatures at all.
Reed, who resides in Florida, voluntarily turned himself in. Reed was arraigned before Judge John Chmura in the 37th District Court in Macomb County. Wilmoth and Wilmoth-Goodin were arrested at their home in Warren last week and arraigned before Judge Steven Bieda on June 22, 2023. A Probable Cause Conference has been scheduled for all three defendants before Judge Chmura at 9:30 am on July 6, 2023.
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.