In June of this year, a former adjunct professor at Grand Valley State University pleaded guilty to felony wire fraud after being accused of stealing money from his company, EA Devices, the life science fund and other investors. Now, Joshua Gerlick has been ordered to pay restitution of more than $300,000 and sentenced to two years probation.
Gerlick admitted in June that he had stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars from his own company, EA Devices, as well as from MOOT Corp. Pontoon Fund Ltd., the Michigan Pre-Seed Fund and the Southwest Michigan First Life Science Fund. Gerlick was sentenced on September 27th by U.S. District Judge Janet T. Neff.
New reports claim that more than $1.3 million in investment capital was provided to EA Devices by these entities; the money was to be used to develop an energy-assisted biopsy needle for early detection of cancer and to get the product into the market for buyers, according to court documents. Gerlick admitted that he stole the money to pay for credit card debts and other personal expenses.
Allegedly the wire fraud occurred between April 2007 and April 2008, when Gerlick supposedly bought a high-end home entertainment system, paid for a new deck and landscaping at his home, and paid off debts which were charged to an American Express card using a portion of investor’s money according to the 12-page plea agreement and other court filed documents.
Under federal sentencing guidelines, Gerlick was to have served between 2 years and 3 months to 2 years and 9 months in federal prison; however, he was given probation with fairly strict terms, including the requirement to participate in mental health treatment. Gerlick must also maintain full-time employment, perform 200 hours of community service, and avoid opening any new lines of credit without the consent of his probation officer.
Capable and aggressive Michigan fraud defense attorneys know that cases such as this do not have to end in a conviction. When you have been arrested for any theft related offense such as embezzlement or wire fraud, prosecutors may have a strong case against you – but a skilled Michigan criminal defense lawyer can determine and implement a defense strategy that will help secure a positive outcome. Don’t face serious charges without the support and guidance of a talented attorney.