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Tag: Lansing

State Senator in Michigan Accused of Misusing Payroll Funds As FBI Investigates

Michigan Sen. Bert Johnson

Michigan Sen. Bert Johnson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities who raided the home and office of Michigan Sen. Bert Johnson are investigating claims that the state lawmaker misused Senate funds to pay an employee who never worked for him, the Detroit Free Press reports. 

Johnson has claimed that he has no idea why he is being investigated.

The FBI and Michigan State Police raided his Highland Park home and Lansing office.

“We’re going to figure it out. I’m hiring counsel,” Johnson, D-Highland Park, said outside the Senate chamber Tuesday. “I’m disappointed. I had a raid in my house. I’m very concerned for my family, for my mother, my children.”

Johnson has a spotty record, the Free Press wrote.

Johnson, 43, has a felony record for armed robbery from a conviction when he was 19. His record was widely known when he won seats in both the state House and Senate. He has had financial difficulties, as well. In 2015, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to appear in an Illinois court in a civil lawsuit over an unpaid debt to a political consulting firm.

Johnson was sued by Chicago-based Paladian Political Group, which said he owed $21,983.37. The issue was resolved without Johnson being arrested.

He said Tuesday he doesn’t know whether his financial problems played a role in the investigation.

“That’s one of the things we’re talking over. We’ve got to figure out what it is they’re looking for,” he said. “But you know, I’m an open book. I have no problem working with anyone. I’ve worked very hard to build a reputation I think people trust.”

Detroit U.S. Atty. Indicts Ex-NBA Player in Fraud Case

nba-logo_1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit has indicted ex-NBA player Jay Vincent who played with Magic Johnson at Michigan State University in an alleged $2 million Internet employment scam, the Associated Press reported.

Authorities alleged that Vincent, 51, and Athony Portee, 53, both of Lansing, Mi., bilked jobseekers out of 20,000 job seekers out of $2 million.

The indictment alleges that between 2006 and 2009 the two men concocted defrauded people seeking jobs inspecting foreclosed homes through their company Foreclosure Bank Inspection Co., AP reported

The company charged each applicant $149 for liability insurance and $89 for a background check, but they hired no one to perform inspections and pocketed the money.

Vincent played on the NCAA championship at Michigan State with Magic Johnson in 1979 and later went on to play in the NBA on a number of teams including Dallas, Washington, Denver, San Antonio and the Los Angeles Lakers. He ended his career in Philadelphia in 1990, AP reported.

His attorney Charles Ford told AP Vincent is “a legitimate businessman” and is cooperating with the probe.