Articles Posted in Federal Charges

A former Detroit Metropolitan Airport supervisor who was convicted of receiving bribes wants a delay to the start of his prison sentence due to the coronavirus pandemic. He was convicted of 10 crimes this past June and was set to report to federal prison for a ten-year sentence starting April 2nd. His defense stressed the fact that incarcerated individuals are at special risk of infection, given their living situations. They are also in a more difficult position to take any proactive measures to keep themselves safe from infection. The setting of a prison or jail is a challenging measure during an outbreak. Michigan’s cases of coronavirus have exploded in recent weeks, and Detroit is considered one of the world’s worst hotspots for the virus currently. The state of Michigan has had nearly 5,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of this writing with over 125 deaths. The governor has declared a state of emergency in the state and has entered a “shelter in place” order that has left many Michiganders stuck at home. More and more cases are being confirmed inside and outside jails on a daily basis. Many state court judges are allowing releases of certain prisoners amid the outbreak.

Original Case Details

James Warner was convicted of receiving over $6 million in bribes, which amounted to the third highest amount in United States history. Prosecutors said that he steered nearly $44 million worth of airport maintenance and repair contracts to three other people who were co-conspirators. These contracts were for the improvement of the runways and parking structures at Detroit Metro Airport. Warner’s $6 million dollars came in the form of kickbacks. In addition to being the third highest amount historically nationwide, it is also the highest total in the history of public corruption cases in the Detroit area. The government seized more than $11 million from all those investigated in this case. Prosecutors pushed for 25 years in prison in this case, while Warner’s defense lawyers pushed for no more than four years. The judge ended up giving Warner a ten-year sentence, noting that while his corruption was evident, his crimes did not cause as much damage as other corruption cases like former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Kilpatrick was seen as someone who contributed to the fall of the city of Detroit, and he was punished in that vain. Kilpatrick currently has the record for the longest sentence for a corruption case at 28 years, a number only Ohio County politician Jimmy Dimora has matched.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has put out an urgent alert to people to watch out for Coronavirus stimulus check scams. As you have most likely heard, the federal government recently passed a historic $2 trillion stimulus package in an effort to keep the economy going during this unprecedented pandemic. The main part of this stimulus package is to give $1,200 to every American in form of direct payments that are not expected to be repaid or taxed. These scams are come in the form of emails where the scammers are acting as government officials ready to give citizens their stimulus money. Scammers are asking for personal financial information such as Paypal or bank accounts so people can get their stimulus money immediately. As of this writing, none of the stimulus money has actually been distributed by the federal government yet. It is expected to take a few weeks before these direct payments begin making their way to people’s bank accounts. If you have e-filed in the past and allowed the government to directly deposit your tax return into your bank account, then it is supposed to happen automatically. Others who have not had their returns deposited in the past will receive checks in the mail.

The World Since Coronavirus Hit Us

The world has come to a screeching halt in some places as this virus has spread in unprecedented ways. The problem was initially believed to be a local problem centered in China, where it is believed to have originated. Michigan’s cases of coronavirus have exploded in recent weeks, and Detroit is considered one of the world’s worst hotspots for the virus currently. The state of Michigan has had nearly 5,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of this writing with over 125 deaths. The governor has declared a state of emergency in the state and has entered a “shelter in place” order that has left many Michiganders stuck at home. This stimulus package was unanimously passed by the United States Senate with a 96-0 vote. Internet scammers are looking to profit off of the fear and hysteria that this virus has caused.

United Auto Workers President Rory Gamble has offered a direct meeting with federal investigators who are currently in the midst of an investigation of union corruption. This offer comes in response to outspoken criticism from federal prosecutors. The UAW is trying to avoid the government from coming in and taking control of the Union itself due to corruption. The UAW has hired a New York law firm to attempt to police themselves and try to root out whatever corruption exists within the union. The statement from the union described the law firm’s function as “technical assistance with our ethics and compliance reform efforts.”

Original Case Details

The FBI has been investigating possible ties between the UAW president and one of the union’s vendors, with bribery being the main implication. The UAW looks as if they are now intending to cooperate in order to avoid a complete government takeover. The UAW has stated its intention to cooperate by producing any documents and records that investigators ask for and bringing in any witnesses the government wants to speak to. A possible measure that the UAW is proposing to help root out any existing corruption is to allow union members to directly elect union leaders. Multiple UAW and Fiat Chrysler officials have been indicted so far in this wide-reaching probe. A number of these officials who have been charged have agreed to cooperate with the federal government.

When the word arraignment is discussed in the criminal law community, most feel that this is when the defendant pleads guilty or not guilty. While the previous statement is accurate in state District Courts, the concept becomes more complicated at the federal level. To learn more about this topic, this article will provide detailed information about the subject matter and discuss the issue with three of the top criminal lawyers in the state of Michigan.

The definition of the arraignment is a formal hearing in opened court where the defendant hears from the Magistrate of the charges being levied against him or her. This is the first official step in the process of charges being brought against the defendant. The defendant will then have a right to plead guilty or not guilty, argue for a bond, and obtain future court dates. The in-state court, the next step would be the probable cause conference. A federal court can present different obstacles.

Arraignment on the Indictment

In April, the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) announced that it was reviewing the possibility of reclassifying marijuana as a Schedule II drug.  Since 1970, marijuana has been classified as a Schedule I drug, which means it has no currently accepted medical treatment use.  Schedule I drugs include, in addition to marijuana, heroin, LSD, bath salts, cocaine, and other substances that have high abuse potential.  If marijuana is rescheduled as a Schedule II drugs, it would be in a category of drugs including oxycodone, Adderal, and Ritalin.

While marijuana is currently classified as a substance with no currently accepted medical treatment use, ironically it is permitted for medical use in some form across 24 states in the U.S., including Michigan.  Experts claim that the rescheduling of marijuana could have a far-reaching impact on how it is used in medical settings.
Continue reading

Recently, the owner of Simmco Data Systems, a company that was one of the first to use RFID for timing of track marathons, pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return. According to a press release issued by U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade and IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Jarod J. Koopman, 51-year-old David Simms pleaded guilty to charges after admitting that he did not report the full profits generated by his business on his 2011 Individual Tax Return.

Simms reportedly runs Simmco Data Systems from his Bloomfield Hills home, and while he did report some of the profits generated by his business for 2011, he failed to report the full $622,000 the company made that year, resulting in reporting of less taxes than the more than $230,000 he actually owed. He did this knowingly, according to the release.

According to Koopman, Simms’ goal was to reduce the amount of tax owed by omitting a portion of his income. Koopman said that individuals who purposely fail to report and pay their fair share of taxes will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Recently it was announced by U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade that two Detroit residents pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting in the use of false identification, and wire fraud. Jarod Koopman, Acting Special Agent in Charge IRS Criminal Investigation joined McQuade in the announcement.

According to the press release, McAllen Jackson Knight and Renita Adams worked with others in filing hundreds of fraudulent tax returns for the year 2010, using the social security numbers and names of individuals who were recently deceased. Those involved in the scheme used various credits including education and earned income credits, and Making American Work credits in order to obtain refunds. Adams and Knight worked in conjunction with the others to establish bank accounts for the receipt of the fraudulent refunds, and to distribute the refunds among participants.

According to court documents, Knight, Adams, and two other defendants used the information from decedents who had passed away across the U.S. between September 1 of 2010 and March 13 of 2011.

On Friday September 6, the BestBank located at 3200 Carpenter Road in Pittsfield Township was robbed by a man who as of Sunday had not been apprehended. The suspect, who was said to be wearing a fake beard, handed a note to a teller which stated he was robbing the bank, and wanted money. The incident took place on Friday morning just after 10 a.m.

Pittsfield Township are asking for the public’s help in locating the man, who robbed the bank, located inside a Kroger store, of an undisclosed amount of cash. News reports indicate that the teller handed over a bag of money to the man, which included a red dye pack. The dye pack is said to have exploded on the suspect as he was getting into a vehicle described as an “older white vehicle.” Police say the dye pack may have burned the suspect’s hands, as it exploded leaving red dye all over the inside of the vehicle, as well as on the suspect.

Gordy Schick, Deputy Police Chief, said that at the time the bank robbery occurred there were many shoppers coming in and out of the Kroger store who may have witnessed the incident. He urged them to contact investigators with any tips. By the time police had arrived on the scene, the man had driven away.

The suspect is described as a black male between 5’4″ and 5’9″ in height, slender built, and wearing a fake beard at the time. He was dressed in blue jeans and a black hooded sweatshirt.

A news article at indicates that during the robbery no weapon was seen or implied.

A conviction for bank robbery can leave the individual facing any number of years in prison and steep fines. While news reports indicate no weapon was implied, the penalties are still harsh as robbing a bank is a federal crime. Those who do use a weapon or even imply the presence of a weapon will face penalties which are more severe. In some cases, sentencing may include life in prison or even the death penalty. This is true when a kidnapping or killing takes place in the commission of the crime.

Continue reading

50-year-old John William Wilson, a man who had just been released from prison, is reportedly headed back after being convicted of running a counterfeiting operation out of a South Haven hotel room. According to a news article at, Wilson used the bogus bills making purchases at local businesses.

Wilson was arrested after Wilson allegedly attempted to purchase a used car he found on Craigslist using counterfeit money. The owner of the car recognized that the money Wilson was attempting to use to purchase the car was fake; Wilson gave the man $800 in fake bills, according to the article. The owner of the vehicle alerted police, who located Wilson and arrested him outside of the Secretary of State’s office in Paw Paw.

In a letter Wilson wrote to U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney, he claimed he had suffered a “horrifying addiction to drugs and alcohol.” Wilson went on to say that he had been addicted to the substances for decades. Sean Tilton, Wilson’s attorney, added that his client wants to address his problems, and that he began using drugs as a teen growing up in foster homes.

Wilson had previously served time in prison for counterfeiting, and targeted local businesses due to the fact that he did not have a car. To avoid drawing unwanted attention to the fake bills, Wilson kept purchases under $100. He also allegedly came up with a scheme while in prison to purchase merchandise with counterfeit bills, then return the goods in exchange for authentic bills.

Judge Maloney sentenced Wilson on Wednesday, August 7 to four years and three months in federal prison. Upon completion of his prison term, he will be placed on supervised release for three years.

Michigan federal criminal attorneys know that while all criminal offenses are punished harshly, those at the federal level incur more serious penalties.

Continue reading

Matthew Daniels, a 46-year-old Grand Haven man who pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return, was sentenced on Wednesday, May 8 to six months in federal prison. Daniels was also ordered to pay more than $119,000 in restitution to the IRS after he allegedly under-reported his income by $362,000 according to a news article at

Daniels’ attorney, Matthew Vicari, said that his client “is sorry and ashamed for what he has done.” Daniels is a married father of three children; his attorney said in court that his client had taken responsibility for his actions.

The news article highlights the fact that Daniels is a respected member of society who received numerous letters of support from his friends, family and colleagues during the criminal justice process. He is said to be a role model to his three children, and very much involved in their lives.

Daniels wrote a letter apologizing for what he had done to U.S. District Judge Robert Holmes Bell. His attorney said that Daniels was simply motivated by greed, and that he under-reported his income never thinking he would be caught. Daniels also wrote to Judge Bell that he was living beyond his means, and that he was ashamed of the pain he caused his family, his dishonesty, and of what he did. He also revealed in the letter that he is losing this insurance business he had built.

Michigan federal crime attorneys understand the serious consequences individuals convicted for federal tax fraud face. Any fraud-related crimes prosecuted at the federal level subject the defendant to more serious penalties than they would usually face at the state level. Some of these crimes include welfare and Medicare fraud, bank and social security fraud, and more. Perhaps the worst thing of all in the case of Mr. Daniels is that he has lost a business that was seemingly successful.

Continue reading

Contact Information