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Alpena Man Found Guilty of Making False Claims Against MSP Troopers

LANSING – Thomas VanDuinen, 71, of Alpena, was found guilty yesterday by an Alpena County jury of making false claims against Michigan State Police troopers during the execution of a search warrant, announced Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. Initially charged in August 2022, VanDuinen was found guilty of:

  • Three counts of false report of a felony, a four-year felony offense;
  • One count of providing a false statement to a police officer, a two-year high misdemeanor; and
  • One count of use of a computer to commit a crime, a seven-year felony.

In February 2021, Michigan State Police (MSP) executed search warrants on VanDuinen’s home and a pole barn he was renting for his business in Alpena. Two days after the execution of the search warrants, VanDuinen began filing reports and demands for the return of his property and then filed a lawsuit against MSP. In his reports, demands, and lawsuit, VanDuinen made numerous false allegations against the MSP troopers who searched his home and business, accusing them of stealing money and hydrocodone pills and forging signatures on the search warrants that were used to search his properties.

VanDuinen reported these allegations to the MSP Professional Standards Section and a criminal investigation was initiated in June 2021. The Michigan Solicitor General authorized the close of the investigation against the troopers in January 2022.

“False accusations can be incredibly damaging, and law enforcement officers who dedicate themselves to serving our communities deserve to have their reputations protected from them,” Nessel said. “I commend the jury for holding Mr. VanDuinen accountable.”

VanDuinen will be sentenced on Aug. 19th at 1:30 pm by Judge Edward Black in the 26th Circuit Court in Alpena County.


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